While parents worry about crammed school buses, some drivers are reporting they’re nearly empty

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The bus companies that serve Ottawa’s English public and Catholic school boards were short by about 100 drivers as of last Friday. Consortium du transport scolaire d’Ottawa, which manages buses for French school boards, has a shortage of between 10 and 15 drivers.

On Friday, Kyriaco said 30 routes would be cancelled for the foreseeable future, affecting some 2,360 students who will not have access to school bus transportation until more drivers become available. The transportation authority has responded with a number of measures, including transitioning some students to OC Transpo.

There were an additional seven cancellations for the English school boards on Monday morning. On Tuesday, there were no cancellations on top of the 30 announced Friday. Service will be restored to one route on Wednesday, said Kyriaco.

She advises parents to check often for cancellations. Refer to OSTA’s parent portal for the route number, then check OSTA’s website for a list of current cancellations.

The transportation authority will start collecting data on school bus usage next week or the following week, as it does every year, said Kyriaco.

“Extremely light loads where parents confirm they are not using the service may be combined to allow other students who need the service to ride.”