The transportation service that supports Hamilton’s Catholic and public school boards will be starting rotating route cancellations in response to the school bus driver shortage.
In a press release issued Wednesday (Sept 23) on behalf of both boards said that the Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) will begin planned rotations of cancelled bus routes on Monday (Sept. 28).
Last week, cancellation of bus routes affected students at 11 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) and 17 Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) schools.
According to the release, the rotating cancellations will address the 17 cancelled routes, rotate service on routes delayed more than 60 minutes, and move high school runs that are experiencing delays of 30 minutes to a regular rotation to ensure that students are on time for their face-to-face learning.
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“We understand that this will cause considerable inconvenience and disruption to families at different points in the route rotations,” said Patrick Daly, Chairperson of the HWCDSB in the release.
“As much as we regret having to cancel any of our routes, this measure is necessary to assure a higher level of service, albeit on a rotating basis.”
Families can expect more details on the new transportation schedule before the end of the week, even as HWSTS continues efforts to recruit more drivers.
Approximately 9,500 students from the HWCDSB and 14,500 students from the HWDSB rely on transportation services to get to school every day.
“This is our regrettable reality this year, and we apologize to all our impacted families,” said Alex Johnstone, Chair of HWDSB in the release.
“We foresaw a situation like this happening, and even with our increased funding to transportation, we need the support of the provincial government. This is an issue that I have been, and continue to raise with the Ministry of Education since July.”
For more information on HWSTS and for route update, visit their website.
— with a photo from The Canadian Press