The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)

Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

The Sooke School District is flashing its signals for new bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of routes in late November.

On Friday, Nov. 27, route 5 and 10 were cancelled, which left parents and guardians with one less option to get their kids to school. On Monday, Nov. 30, route 3 and 37 were cancelled, and the day after, route 37 was cancelled again.

“We know our system isn’t perfect,” said Lindsay Vogan, communications manager at SD62. “We know the cancellations are an inconvenience for families and we are trying hard to mitigate them. The reality though, is that we simply do not have any back-up/on-call drivers.”

The route cancellations were caused by either a driver that was sick or had an excusable appointment, such as medical, Vogan said. Though they have 39 drivers to cover the district, five more than last year, that isn’t enough.

READ MORE: Sooke School District opens conversation on catchment boundary changes

In 2019, SD62 had four spare buses. Since the pandemic, all buses and drivers are being utilized, as they’ve had to separate levels of school into elementary, middle and secondary in line with provincial health recommendations.

Vogan said it’s been difficult to find qualified drivers willing to work on an on-call basis, especially with the cold and flu season and the doubling of routes.

She said the district has been actively looking for more drivers since the beginning of November. They require drivers with a Class 2 licence with air brake endorsement, a medical certificate within the last six months and a valid first aid certificate.

She points out that school busing is not mandated by the provincial government and not considered an essential service. SD62 provides busing for families, while other districts, such as the Greater Victoria School District does not.

The district contributes $2.7 million each year to keep up with the demand, and they receive additional funds from the provincial government as well.

Those interested in applying can visit sd.62.bc.ca/careers.

ALSO READ: Sooke School District breaks ground on two new Langford schools


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

SD62sooke school district

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for east Vancouver Island area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Victoria city council unanimously voted Jan. 21 to develop a one-time relief fund for businesses hit by vandalism. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
City offers relief funds for Victoria businesses hit by vandalism

Limited relief fund will come from 2021 contingency budget

James Summer, the City of Victoria’s new youth poet laureate. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Slam poetry expert introduced as Victoria’s new youth poet laureate

Vic High alum James Summer will serve in the role for 2021

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Most Read