Hamilton School Boards plan to address bus driver shortage issue

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) are jointly undertaking a review of all school bell times through for the 2020-21 school year.

The review will affect both boards and is designed to address the driver shortage that Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation System (HWSTS) has been experiencing for the last number of years

It is also expected to address overspending in transportation.

“The bell time study is one of many strategies the two boards are exploring to achieve greater efficiencies in anticipation of significant increased costs when our current bus operator agreements come due in August 2021,” said Patrick J. Daly, Chair of the HWCDSB.

Dally says the study will examine the current bus routing system and school bell times with the goal of reducing costs through greater routing efficiencies.

“The school bus driver shortage is an ongoing issue that impacts students and families not only in Hamilton but across Ontario. After seeing the productive results at neighbouring boards, we are confident that undertaking a bell time study will mitigate the shortages we continue to face,” said Alex Johnstone, Chair of HWDSB.

The final report, outlining the recommend school bell times will be shared with both HWDSB and HWCDSB at their meetings early in the new year.