District initiates school bus change

In response to concerns from parents, the Vernon School District has made some changes to its busing routes

In response to concerns from parents, the Vernon School District has made some changes to its busing routes.

In an effort to save money from a cash-strapped budget, the district had recently cut several bus routes and began restricting busing to students who live more than 2.4 kilometres from their school.

But when school started up again this year, many parents expressed concern over safety issues, such as children having to cross busy highways or walking along Westside Road to get to a bus stop that is within 2.4 kilometres of their home.

At Wednesday’s district board meeting, superintendent Joe Rogers said a number of changes have been made to drop-offs and bus stops.

“We’ve made about 10 changes, including adding three to the Okanagan Indian Band, and Killarney Road South, and in town we’ve made some changes to pick-up and drop-off for Beairsto students,” he said. “Starting Tuesday, the stop will be moved from Middleton Road to Middleton Way.”

A committee will be formed to take a look at  busing, to see what changes need to be made.

“We have about 3,520 riders and we lost about 300 riders when we made the changes, but we haven’t had any complaints from those who are riding the bus,” said Rogers. “The ministry tells us we are not responsible for busing, but we spend about $2 million a year on busing and that is a significant amount of money, especially considering we have not had an increase in funding from the ministry since 2001.

“So we want to make sure we are serving the needs of our kids and to make sure they are coming  to school safely.”

Board chairman Bill Turanski said while the ministry was willing to approve the purchase of new buses for the district, it has not increased the funding needed to actually operate the buses.

“When I attended the PAC meetings at both Kal and Coldstream, busing was on the agenda,” he said. “We have also adjusted busing so that we are now going to be picking up students within the 2.4-kilometre limit, where it would be dangerous not to  provide busing for them, so we are making some provisions for those.”

Trustees approved formation of a committee to take a look at the issue.


“When I did the numbers, I realized that when they were in school, each of my children has ridden the bus 188,000 kilometres,” said trustee Doris Squair, whose four children — now grown — all attended J.W. Inglis and Charles Bloom in Lumby.



Just Posted

Vernon student off to UBCM with council

Cadence Taron, a Grade 12 student at Fulton Secondary, applied to attend annual convention

City of Vernon to develop Civic Arena site into park

Planning process approved by council; construction to start in 2020 or 2021

Vernon RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Vernon Vipers open BCHL training camp

Defending Interior Conference champs open pre-season slate Friday at home vs Grande Prairie (AJHL)

No costs as directed upsets Vernon councillor

Scott Anderson and council still waiting for as-directed costs on hiring private security firm

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read