School bus drivers in short supply across the province

School Bus

As kids get ready to go back to school there is a school bus driver shortage in the province.

School Bus Ontario is calling on the Ford government to “fix the flawed” busing contract bid system as the province is currently facing a shortfall of hundreds of operators.

The group says bus contracts are awarded to operators that put in the lowest bids which suppresses driver pay.

School Bus Ontario has proposed different ideas to rework the bidding system including getting a third party to set the wages and rates for the local industries based on economic conditions.

In Niagara the picture is not so bleak. Lori Ziraldo, Executive Director of Niagara Student Transportation Services, says at this point there are no routes cancelled and buses are ready for back to school, "We are in the same position as previous years. We have drivers for every route but not a full target of spare drivers to cover if we have driver absences." 

Ziraldo adds, "We want to make sure parents know how to get delay alerts just in case." Parents can get those updates by signing up on the NSTS website or downloading the BusPlanner Delay app.