The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)

Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

The Sooke School District is flashing its signals for new bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of routes in late November.

On Friday, Nov. 27, route 5 and 10 were cancelled, which left parents and guardians with one less option to get their kids to school. On Monday, Nov. 30, route 3 and 37 were cancelled, and the day after, route 37 was cancelled again.

“We know our system isn’t perfect,” said Lindsay Vogan, communications manager at SD62. “We know the cancellations are an inconvenience for families and we are trying hard to mitigate them. The reality though, is that we simply do not have any back-up/on-call drivers.”

The route cancellations were caused by either a driver that was sick or had an excusable appointment, such as medical, Vogan said. Though they have 39 drivers to cover the district, five more than last year, that isn’t enough.

READ MORE: Sooke School District opens conversation on catchment boundary changes

In 2019, SD62 had four spare buses. Since the pandemic, all buses and drivers are being utilized, as they’ve had to separate levels of school into elementary, middle and secondary in line with provincial health recommendations.

Vogan said it’s been difficult to find qualified drivers willing to work on an on-call basis, especially with the cold and flu season and the doubling of routes.

She said the district has been actively looking for more drivers since the beginning of November. They require drivers with a Class 2 licence with air brake endorsement, a medical certificate within the last six months and a valid first aid certificate.

She points out that school busing is not mandated by the provincial government and not considered an essential service. SD62 provides busing for families, while other districts, such as the Greater Victoria School District does not.

The district contributes $2.7 million each year to keep up with the demand, and they receive additional funds from the provincial government as well.

Those interested in applying can visit sd.62.bc.ca/careers.

ALSO READ: Sooke School District breaks ground on two new Langford schools


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

SD62sooke school district

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Local MP Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to revise its rules around allowing freighters to anchor in and around the Gulf Islands. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May promises to press new transportation minister on issues important to Vancouver Island

Key issues include anchoring freightes, southern resident killer whales and fate of local bus line

Stair care in Colwood
Colwood Coun. Michael Baxter says Latoria Creek Park is now more enjoyable and safe to take a stroll through due to the latest upgrades completed on the staircase. Four long sets of nature stairs now include slip-proof metal steps. The elevated staircase also allows for better air flow to slow the rotting process, and metal handrails to prevent splinters. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Colwood unveils massive upgrade to popular park staircase

Upgrades include slip-proof metal steps, metal handrails and raised design

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read