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Malahat congestion delaying West Shore buses from picking up students

All SD62 buses are on their way as of 8 a.m., superintendent says
Sooke School District buses are late picking up students Wednesday morning after struggling to get through the Malahat closure traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sooke School District students will likely be waiting at their bus stop for longer than usual Wednesday morning after bus drivers struggled to make it out of the bus yard and through traffic caused by the Malahat partial closure.

District superintendent and CEO Scott Stinson said he believes all the running buses had left the yard as of 8 a.m. but that students who are used to being picked up as early as 7:30 a.m. will have to hold tight.

“We’re just asking parents to be patient with us,” he said.

Flood damage on the Malahat has reduced the highway to single-lane alternating traffic between West Shore Parkway and Tunnel Hill during the day and fully closed it overnight until Nov. 23. Wednesday morning, northbound traffic was backed up all the way out of Langford, making getting out of the bus yard, located just off the highway, extremely difficult for drivers, Stinson explained.

READ ALSO: Malahat to close overnight for 7 days after flooding, BC Ferries stepping in again

Unfortunately, he said similar delays can likely be expected for Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, although he said buses will try to leave the yard earlier. Luckily, students have a half-day Thursday and day off Friday though, so they won’t have to wait around then.

Stinson added drivers who live north of the Malahat closure are headed down today and will stay the night on the West Shore to ensure they can run their buses Thursday morning.

“We’re doing our very best to make sure students are picked up and taken safely to school,” he said.

READ ALSO: Malahat closure reason to reopen road discussions: Greater Victoria transportation expert

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About the Author: Goldstream News Gazette Staff

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