The Taoiseach is insisting the introduction of free school transport was not a mistake.
It comes after the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told his party that some sort of fee should have been kept in place to prevent the school transport service being overwhelmed.
A surge in applications for the free service left thousands of children without a place on the school bus as classes returned this year.
Children who previously qualified for concessionary tickets lost their places to children who applied when the free option was announced.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he does not agree with the Tánaiste.
“I would not agree with that,” he said. “I actually think it was certainly something we did on a cost-of-living basis.
“Yes, it is oversubscribed but thousands of people are now availing of public transport, which in terms of our more medium climate change agenda, is a good thing.
“What we were doing is trying to use the cost of living to do two things. To reduce costs for people but also start bedding in new ways of behaviour.
“If we can get more people going to school through public transport that is a good idea, but we do have to - I accept, I take the point - provide additional public transport to enable people to avail of those services.”
The Government came in for heavy criticism from opposition parties for introducing the free scheme without adding additional services.
The shortage even led to calls for the army to be drafted in to drive school buses