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Student Transportation Update - August 28, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017
Categories: News Releases

Sent by the Toronto Student Transportation Group

Further to the communication sent last week, we wanted to provide you with an update on the status of student transportation for the upcoming school year. 

Over the past two weeks, our school bus carriers have been working through the process of assigning drivers to routes. Nearly all (99%) bus routes have a driver assigned, however, at this time, Sharp Bus Lines and Stock Transportation have indicated that they have insufficient drivers to cover all of their routes. Contingency plans are in place and include the reassigning of 10 routes from Stock Transportation to other carriers who have sufficient drivers available. In addition, Sharp has indicated that they will bring in 6 additional drivers, while Stock will bring in an additional 15 drivers. 

We will be confirming this information on Wednesday and following up with the bus operators to ensure that the new drivers are familiar with the routes prior to school start on Tuesday. To be clear, these adjustments impact 21 (1%) of the 1750 total bus routes. Unlike last year, which saw approximately 60 routes without drivers, we have been assured by bus operators that all of these routes will be covered by alternate/spare drivers. Despite this, we felt it was important that you were made aware of this development as early as possible.  We will provide an additional update to parents by the end of the week. At that time, should there still be an indication of driver shortages for the start of the school year, parents with a child on a route that may be impacted will receive a direct email communication from TSTG so that they may make alternative travel arrangements. We have instructed our bus operators that priority should be given to ensuring school bus transportation for students with special needs.

Please note that at the beginning of each new school year there is always a short adjustment period as new drivers familiarize themselves with new routes and students. As well, local conditions such as inclement weather (rain), road construction, traffic congestion and unforeseen vehicle breakdowns may impact the timely running of school buses. To ensure that you have access to the latest transportation information, you are encouraged to sign up for the transportation portal to receive email notifications when bus companies report late buses. Delays will also be posted to https://www.torontoschoolbus.org/.  

In addition, you can get information about transportation services for your child by calling our transportation office at 416-394-4BUS (416-394-4287) or emailing transportation@torontoschoolbus.org. If you have a concern about the service you are receiving, please email complaint@torontoschoolbus.org so that we can follow up with the bus operator to address your concerns.

You can also contact your local school for transportation information. Many schools post bus routes on the windows at the main office. Maps of bus routes for local schools can also be viewed on our website at https://www.torontoschoolbus.org/bus/routes-and-maps/.

Despite these last minute adjustments, we are confident that we will be able to work with our operators to find a solution and we look forward to a successful start to the 2017-18. 

Toronto Student Transportation Group

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