According to the Northern Lights Public School student transportation, NLPS was short seven drivers at the beginning of the school year and now is only short four drivers.
During the NLPS board meeting Director of Transportation, Matt Richter, gave an update on student transportation including finding drivers to fill vacant bus routes. The division’s driver training school has trained 11 new drivers and provided S course training for an additional 14 drivers. Now the division’s routes are only short four drivers, three in Cold Lake and one in Kikino.
Richter says a recent driver training grant will cover up to $1,200 for each new driver that is trained. The division also purchased some new buses to have spares to prepare in case of a breakdown.
According to the report, Richter noted the division will not receive increased funding for transportation from the provincial budget but the Fuel Price Contingency Program will continue.
The budget also announced changes to distance eligibility beginning Sept. 1, 2024, with an option to implement the changes earlier but NLPS says is unlikely to be offered early in the 2023-2024 year due to the shortage of bus drivers. An offer
Starting on Sept. 1, 2024, K-6 students who live more than 1 km from their designated school, and 7-12 students who live more than 2 km from their designated school will be eligible for busing. The change is estimated to increase ridership by approximately 600 students, requiring an additional 12 bus routes to be added.