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Spare school bus driver levels are at their lowest levels in years due to the pandemic says bus consortium

Omicron is more transmissible and therefore the potential for fewer drivers being available in the short term is a greater possibility
2019 school bus winter turl
Plans for school busing are being impacted by Omicron. Jeff Turl/BayToday.

With the Province returning to in-person learning on January 17 a news release from the consortium dealing with area school busses, (NPSSTS) contains a couple of important nuggets of information.

The group and its stakeholders are preparing to deal with yet another variant, Ominron, that could adversely affect student transportation.

Chuck Seguin, the Executive Director, says spare school bus driver levels are at their lowest in years due to the pandemic and the virus is "more transmissible and therefore the potential for fewer drivers being available in the short-term is a greater possibility."

"Drivers are required to follow all Provincially mandated screening requirements prior to reporting for work including isolation requirements if symptomatic," adds Sequin.

The NPSSTS and bus companies will ensure that early and accurate Route Delay and Route Doubling issues are posted to the NPSSTS Delays Page on the website including more frequent updates;

Drivers will be provided with Rapid Antigen Tests to facilitate an earlier return to work where negative test results are obtained and symptoms improve, but they must be 24 to 48 hours apart;

"The NPSSTS and bus companies are developing strategies to mitigate the impact of driver shortages through route doubling before considering cancellations, but this can lead to some delays," says Sequin.

He asks that parents stay current with the NPSSTS Delays Page for updated bus information and review options in existing inclement weather plans in the event of a cancellation and, where possible add to them including the potential for carpooling where possible;

He also suggests that students are dressed for the weather conditions and If you have chosen alternate transportation in the short-term, advise the bus company directly. 

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