Secondary education students using school buses will have to pay a €15 fee per month from January 7, it has been announced.
The controversial decision had been delayed due to student protests against the move to scrap free school bus trips.
Communications and Education Ministries have agreed that when schools re-open on January 7 following the Christmas break, students will have to pay a monthly fee of €15 for school routes and routes to the State Training Institutes (KIE), while the monthly student ticket that can be used for all journeys including school routes will cost €20.
Prices that apply for students are currently €0.75 single route, €2.50 daily, €7.50 weekly, €20 monthly and €200 yearly.
Students who will use the bus on occasion can purchase a single route ticket whenever necessary.
Students whose families receive benefits from the welfare services will be exempt from paying the fee, while for large families only the first two children will have to pay.
School principles have already received the tickets from the Education Ministry to distribute to beneficiaries, while the rest of the students will have the opportunity to purchase their tickets from their schools between December 16 and 20.