He’s not saying the school bus cancellation problem in our region has gone away. Northeast Tri-Board School Transportation supervisor Ryan Hartling does say that it’s improving.
The highest number of route cancellations in one day so far this year has been eleven. It now averages six.
Hartling explains that as in other industries, workers are off for medical appointments and other reasons. Usually the route cancellation is only short-term, because the bus companies have no one to fill in.
“All the spares and the casual drivers are being used to fulfill the routes right now,” he reports, “so we do not have any spares that are available to cover these off drivers.”
The longest term cancellation is a route to and from Genier, north of Cochrane. Hartling says a driver is currently in training to take that one over.
When your kids’ route is cancelled, it’s your responsibility to get them to school.
Hartling says you might get into a carpooling arrangement with other families.
“School boards also offer a virtual learning component,” Hartling adds. “So if that’s something that’s possible for the student to do, then that’s great.”
Schools also send work home to students affected by a cancellation that’s known to be short-term.
Hartling is hopeful that hiring and training new drivers soon ends the shortage and cancellations.