The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District is working on ways to make its transportation service more efficient.
The District is running out of room on its buses and can’t buy more.
Official trustee Mike McKay says transportation regulations have had to be amended, but courtesy riders won’t be charged.
“We haven’t eliminated courtesy riders. What we’ve said is that we can’t give any certainty to courtesy riders if buses are full or almost full with eligible riders.”
McKay says charging those riders has been looked at and works in some places but he says it can be an administrative nightmare.
“We believe we’ve made some adjustments that will be helpful to ensure some predictability and sustainability. And if courtesy rider fees are out there in the future I’m sure the elected board of the day will look at those. It’s not off the table. It’s just not on the table right now.”
The Vernon School District will charge riders 300 dollars for the year.
McKay says the North Okanagan Shuswap District will focus on priority students.
“We’re growing which means there are more eligible riders on the buses, so we can’t have the degree in certainty and comfort that we had in the past. We did make some adjustments to make sure that our youngest kids in the downtown core will be able to get a ride to the elementary school that’s closest to them.”
McKay says the situation will be monitored as the year goes on.
Parents will soon be sent information on how the transportation service will be managed.
Courtesy riders will only be allowed on an existing bus route and if there is space available and no extra stops are required.
Consideration will also be given to students with ill health or temporary disability providing they have a medical certificate.
Dead end routes will be serviced at the discretion of the Manager of Transportation.