Changes Coming for School Bus Service

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development says changes are coming in the way school bus service is delivered in the Halifax region, after thousands of familes made their views known through an online survey.

The Halifax Regional Centre for Education is preparing a request for proposals to determine what options other than Stock Transportation may be available for school bus service in Halifax.

Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, says, "Families can be confident that immediate and long-term improvements to strengthen student transportation are on the way."

According to a press release, of the 8,000 people province wide that completed the online school bus consultation survey, concerns among respondents were strongest in Halifax, with the top three areas of concern being communication, safety and service reliability.

In September 2019, Halifax Regional Centre for Education will begin providing greater oversight in the areas of communication and routing, with a plan to completely take over these responsibilities for September 2020.

Stock Transportation will continue to deliver busing service for 2019-20, until a new contract is in place.

The province says the new request for proposal will require a provider to purchase, drive, and maintain buses and ensure the safety of students on their trips to and from school and will be be designed in a way that may result in multiple vendors providing transportation services.

The Halifax Centre for Education expects to issue the request for proposal for busing service this summer and a new provincial student transportation policy is also under development and will be implemented in September 2020.