The Director of Education for DSB One says their board averages between 12-15 bus route cancellations daily because of the bus driver shortage.
Lesleigh Dye notes the directors of the three school boards that use the Northeast Tri Board Student Bus Transportation have been discussing with school bus operators what the barriers are and how they can be overcome.
She adds for Timmins it includes getting drivers properly trained.
“That centre is not open five days a week so that slows things down so we’re working with the Ministry of Education, and we’re working with the Ministry of Transportation,” she said. “We’re also trying to get criminal record checks done in a timelier manner because that’s also a barrier.”
Dye says the three boards are also helping out with recruitment efforts.
“They’ve asked us to send out letters to families about recruitment,” she said. “Are they interested in driving a bus? Do they have family or friends who may be interested? So we have committed, each board has committed sending that out to our own families.”
DSB One recently started a pilot project offering families whose children who have been affected by bus route cancellations offered gas cards depending on their distance to and from school. The school board serves from Temagami to Hearst.