New bus schedule released on Saturday will keep some students on board for hours

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Parents at St. Peter The Apostle School in Parry Sound said they received notice of a new bus schedule due to a shortage of drivers.

Parents have been told of the new Saturday morning schedule which will keep some students on the buses for hours and parents are at their breaking point.

Students will have to get up at 5:30 a.m. to take the bus.

A parent told Muskoka411 that their child will pick up at 7:04 a.m., school will start at 8:50 a.m. and school will end at 3:00 p.m., the child will not come home until 4:57 p.m.

The new bus schedule also means more students on each bus and will make the day even longer for the students and parents will be angry.

Haleigh Roberts is a parent who received the new calendar and has a child who is directly affected.

“The new waiting times they are putting in place for these children are absolutely unacceptable. Roberts said: “My daughter is three years old, just started her first year of kindergarten and now she is told she has to stay on the bus for over two hours to get to and from school while it normally took 20 minutes by bus “.

The responsible school board sends a letter to parents on Saturday morning with recommendations.

The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic School Board issued the following statement:

While we have worked to hire new drivers and find ways to alleviate bus delays in Muskoka and Parry Sound, many families continue to experience unacceptable wait times. Some of the solutions that have been considered by the SMCDSB, the transport consortium and / or the bus operator are:

  • Ask the Department of Education to work with the Department of Transportation to expedite permit approvals
  • Assist the bus operator in recruitment efforts by posting jobs via SMCDSB communication networks
  • Liaise with our child care partners in Bracebridge and Huntsville to explore the possibility of increasing before and after care programs
  • Consolidate routes
  • Charter bus and / or taxi service contracts
  • Provide additional incentives to drivers in the Muskoka / Parry Sound area
  • Explore the possibility of using regional transit routes
  • Collaborate with other operators to alleviate current pressures
  • Improve the timeliness of the publication of information on delays
  • Improve communication flow

This list is not exhaustive and we know that some of these elements cannot be realistically implemented. However, we hope that it will provide you with additional details on the work in progress to resolve the ongoing issues.

At this point, we have worked with our principals and the consortium and confirmed an interim consolidated plan that provides confirmed and consistent pickup and drop-off times. These new bus lines and stop times will be communicated directly to you this weekend. Please monitor your email this weekend to make sure you receive updated times and stops.

Please know that we continue to make every effort to restore service to acceptable levels in Muskoka and Parry Sound. We will continue to provide you with ongoing communication as the bus situation improves.

Truly,

Allen Morrison

Controller of Planning, Facilities and Student Transportation Services

Driver shortage causes significant delays in transit to Catholic schools in Muskoka


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