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Squamish school bus woes being ironed out: SD48

Two new systems are being implemented to ensure buses are available for students who need them each school year.
school bus

Did your child miss the school bus or have trouble getting on a full one this week? 

Paul Else, the Sea to Sky school district's manager of transportation and grounds, told The Chief that there may be a few hiccups during this first week of school. 

"We sometimes see students riding the busses when they have not registered as riders or students who are unclear on which bus they are supposed to take. As things become more familiar throughout the week, these challenges tend to work themselves out," Else said, adding that usually there is a spare bus on standby to deal with areas where there are extra riders, but not this fall.

"Due to a staff shortage, we were unable to provide that spare bus this year. We continue to recruit casual drivers in the district," Else said. 

The district is in the process of implementing two new transportation software systems: a bus pass system and a system to organize ridership during the summer. 

These news systems are meant to mitigate these issues in the future. 

With the first, the bus pass system, students will be required to register for the bus. 

Passes will be issued based on registration, Else said. 

"This pass system will ensure only eligible and registered students will ride the bus and ensure that students are clear on which bus they should be taking to and from school. Overall, this will reduce the density of students on our school busses," he said. 

Even though not all students will be registered in the summer, the second system would give the school district a projection of potential ridership numbers before school starts.

"We ask that if families need clarification, require additional information or have feedback, please reach out to your school principal so they can help to better support you," Else said. 

As for Friday, the district said that due to the unavailability of school bus drivers, it is unable to run Route 5 in Squamish Sept. 10, which will affect school busses servicing Don Ross, Howe Sound Secondary and Squamish Elementary. 

The service will resume Monday morning. The district apologized for the inconvenience.