Toronto District School Board

TDSB and TCDSB Welcome Ombudsman’s Report

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Categories: News Releases

The Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board welcome today’s release of the Ontario Ombudsman’s report into student transportation in Toronto.

Over recent months, the Toronto Student Transportation Group, which oversees bussing for the TDSB and TCDSB, has been taking important steps that address a number of the report’s findings and will ensure last fall’s school bus disruptions are not repeated. These steps include:

Providing bus operators with routes earlier in the planning process to give them enough time to match all routes with drivers. 
Planning the installation of new bus routing software to ensure more accurate route planning.
Conducting weekly teleconferences with bus operators to ensure readiness for September.
Installing GPS on all buses for the 2017-18 school year so that school boards and bus operators can track the status of buses and improve the timeliness and accuracy of communication to parents.
Launching a new online transportation portal to allow parents to access their children’s transportation information and receive email notifications if there are any school bus cancellations or delays.
Adding additional call centre staff during peak times, such as the start of school, to improve responsiveness and communication to schools and parents.

School bus operators, which include Attridge, First Student, McCluskey, Sharp, Stock, Switzer-Carty and WAT, have all indicated that they do not anticipate any significant challenges like those of last year and are continuing to hire and train drivers throughout the summer. 

Should bus operators not have sufficient drivers by August 11th, 2017, bus routes will be removed and distributed to other companies which have the capacity to take on the work.

“The Ombudsman has made a number of important recommendations that, together with changes we have already made, will help improve the bussing experience for TDSB students and parents alike. The disruptions last fall should not have happened and we believe the steps that are being taken will ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
- John Malloy, Director, TDSB

“The TCDSB is appreciative of the recommendations contained in the Ombudsman’s report, as it reaffirms the solutions we have already undertaken collectively with our transportation partners since last September. The report will also help us monitor performance and support our ongoing commitment to provide an optimum level of school bus service for our students.”
- Rory McGuckin, Director, TCDSB


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