Bus driver shortage, road construction make it difficult for Halton Hills and Milton kids to get to school

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Published September 28, 2023 at 10:51 pm

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A lack of bus drivers and construction along the roads of Halton Region is making it difficult for students to get to classes.

Halton Student Transportations Services (HSTS), the busing company operated jointly by the Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board, says the shortage of drivers has led to cancellations and delays of buses bringing students to and from school each day.

The company also says road construction in Halton is also causing delays in getting kids to classes on time: a situation that isn’t expected to improve anytime soon.

The communities most affected are Milton and Halton Hills.

According to David Colley, General Manager of HSTS, local bus companies have been contracted to operate 458 bus routes for the 2023-24 school year. Bus companies are reporting a complement of 466 permanent and substitute professional drivers. To guarantee sufficient coverage in the event of driver absences stemming from sickness, vacations, or family emergencies, an extra 20 to 30 bus drivers are needed.

“We are aware of the impact this may have on some families and we appreciate their patience and understanding during this time,” adds Colley.

HSTS says it has been collaborating with the bus companies to minimize the disruptions for students and their families. Parents and guardians are encouraged to sign up for delays and cancellation notifications on the HSTS website (haltonbus.ca). A daily list of bus delays can be found on the HSTS website.

One parent who spoke to inhalton.com said the delays and cancellations have been frustrating for all involved.

“If the bus is cancelled I have no choice but to take my kids to school which means I am late for work myself,” she said. “And the construction has been brutal, especially in Halton Hills. It hasn’t been well coordinated. But the bus operators have been great. They have been very upfront about what is happening. It really is out of their hands.”

Bus companies continue to actively recruit drivers, according to the HSTS, which also assists in this effort by advertising jobs on the HSTS website.

Prospective driving candidates can get in touch with the following bus companies for information on job prerequisites:

  • Attridge Transportation Inc. – 905-333-4047
  • Elliott Coach Lines 1-877-237-8287
  • First Student Canada, Burlington and Oakville – 905-335-7010
  • First Student (Georgetown) -905-877-2251
  • Switzer-Carty Transportation – 905-849-2080
  • Voyago Transportation – 519-787-2200
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