Transportation authority defends call on school buses running

As heavier-than-expected snow clogged up Ottawa's roads with traffic today, many parents were wondering why school buses had not been cancelled.

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority responded by saying it receives the forecast earlier in the morning and is forced to make a decision by 5:30.

A spokesperson indicated the decision would have been different if the amount of snow coming had been known.

However, there's also an insistence that the buses are OK to travel in this weather.

"The buses can get through this," OSTA CAO Vicky Kyriaco told CFRA's Morning Rush with Bill Carroll. "What really slows us down are cars."

Roads were filled with commuters who had been forced to slow down due to low visibility.

"With snow, it's not as bad (for the buses) as freezing rain," said Kyriaco. "I know a lot of people say the accumulation is worse. But with freezing rain, just a couple of millimetres can turn (roads) into a skating rink."

"Right now (9:20 a.m.), it's slow. But that's good. If it's slow, that means they're taking care."

The decision to run buses today raised the ire of Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod.

As MPP I deal with @OttSchoolBus a lot. No accountability, many complaints. And it snowed all night. No consistency in their calls.

— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) February 15, 2017

MacLeod said through Twitter that it took her husband 40 minutes to drive their daughter to school this morning when the trip normally takes 5 minutes.

She also tweeted "Looks like I'll have to have some order paper questions for the return of the legislature."