September 30, 2020 Communication for Families
On September 8, we shared that, like many districts throughout the province, the Public Education systems in Huron and Perth counties are experiencing Bus Driver Shortages. This impacts school bus services coordinated by the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services (HPSTS) for the schools in both Avon Maitland District School Board and Huron Perth Catholic District School Board.
As of September 29, School Bus Operators have shared that, while they have been able to fill many of the school bus driver vacancies, there are still 24 vacancies across the two counties, many of which are being covered by office staff and mechanics. As well, the lack of supply bus drivers to cover daily absences means there are a number of unexpected cancellations each day. The School Bus Operators continue to actively recruit drivers, and in many cases, are waiting patiently for the appropriate licensing and screenings to be finalized.
Communication of Cancellations
The known cancellations will continue to be posted on our website as soon as possible. In some cases, with unplanned absences, this may not be until the morning of. Many cancellations will be for the full day, although if a driver is available for either the morning or the evening ride, the bus will run as scheduled. In these cases, families will need to make a plan to cover the cancelled portion of the bus ride. Cancellations will be reported as follows:
- Cancelled – All Day
- Cancelled – AM Only
- Cancelled – PM Only
Families should monitor the website OR use the BusPlanner Delays App (see below) to confirm their bus is running. Route cancellations for driver shortages will not be broadcast via the local media at this time.
Information about BusPlanner Delays App
HPSTS released the new BusPlanner Delays App on September 11th. This free to download tool is used widely throughout the province with great success.
The app is a direct-to-family communication tool which allows for real-time notification from Bus Operators to families. Once registered, families and school communities will receive direct, instant communication regarding school bus cancellations or delays.
School Bus Driver Recruitment
Interested in becoming a School Bus Driver in Huron or Perth County? Please contact one of the following Bus Operator companies:
Elliott Coach Lines
First Student Canada Inc.
Montgomery Bus Lines
Murphy Bus Lines
September 8, 2020 Communication for Families
School Bus Driver Shortages
Like many districts throughout the province, the Public Education systems in Huron and Perth counties are experiencing Bus Driver Shortages. This impacts school bus services coordinated by the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services (HPSTS) for the schools in both Avon Maitland District School Board and Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.
School Bus Operators have shared that, despite active recruitment in the area, they are looking for approximately 40 school bus drivers across the two counties. This means that families should expect some days of school bus cancellations until the Bus Operators can fully staff these vacant positions. Cancellations will take place within a School Bus Operator region, and will rotate among the routes within that region.
Note: At this time, all regions in the two counties will be impacted. Further updates will be provided in the coming weeks. Schools will not be closed due to School Bus Driver Shortages, so we ask that families have a backup transportation plan.
Communication of Cancellations
Cancellations will be posted here on the HPSTS website as soon as possible, and in rare cases this may not be until the morning of. Families should monitor the website often to confirm their bus is running. Route cancellations for driver shortages will not be broadcast via the local media at this time, however weather delays or cancellations will.
New Communication Tool!
HPSTS is happy to share the release of a new, direct to family communication tool, called the BusPlanner Delays App. This free tool, used by most school boards in the province, allows for real-time communication from Bus Operators to families. Once registered, families and school communities will receive direct, instant communication regarding bus cancellations or delays. Watch for registration information coming soon!
Thank you for your understanding while we work to solve our bus driver shortage issue.