Parents frustrated with Stock Transporation’s decision to carry fewer students
Stock Transportation is carrying fewer students on its buses this year, and some parents feel that's put their youngsters in harm's way.
Susan Beer of Middle Sackville, N.S., fought to get a courtesy bus for her neighbourhood. But she says she’s not sure about its future.
“Apparently we get to keep it until the construction stops, but it could stop this year or next year so we aren't quite sure,” says Beer.
The reduced bus service is because of a new rule that students can only arrive up to 20 minutes before the start of school, as well the new combined dismissal for elementary school students.
“So what that means is that we won't have buses doing two loops of the same route in an afternoon, for example,” says Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional School Board.
All students who live 3.6 kilometres or more from school and students in grades primary to six are eligible to ride the bus, only if they live at least 2.4 kilometres away. For students who live closer, the bus is considered a courtesy.
But the changes mean there's not enough room for everyone, which has become a source of worry for many parents.
“This is a courtesy bus, but it should be more permanent because if I asked my son to walk to school, it would be a 20-minute walk both ways and he's only five,’ says parent Katie Lock.
“I worry about the winter,” says parent Robin Donovan. “The kids walking in the cold and the snow, there are no sidewalks, that's what worries me.”
Stock Transportation did not return CTV News’s calls for comment on Friday, But the Halifax Regional School Board says, “The bus service can't guarantee courtesy rides until the company get a better sense of how many students are getting a lift."
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.