Local school bus companies face uncertainty for September

WINDSOR, ONT. — School bus companies in the region are facing a dilemma on how they will operate next school year.

There are currently three scenarios in play for Ontario’s school re-opening plan. This includes in-person learning, continued online studies and a hybrid of the two.

This uncertainty has the Chatham-Kent Lambton Administration School Services (CLASS) wondering the number of students it can transport and how it can be done safely.

“We are looking at where they will sit on the bus, changes to loading and unloading procedures for students and visual aids that will help kids navigate,” says Kent Orr, CLASS general manager.

“Exploring protection equipment for our school bus drivers is a piece of the puzzle for us as well.”

The company transports around 16,000 students daily in the St. Clair Catholic District and the Lambton Kent District school boards.

In July, CLASS usually receives approximately 1,000 requests for its courtesy seat program for students who normally would not be eligible for service. However, this year applications are temporarily suspended.

“By this time of a normal planning year, we have a good understanding of our ridership capacity. We usually can accommodate a great number of the requests,” Orr says.

The latest updates can be found on their website.

The Windsor-Essex Student Transportation Services say it’s too early to have a concrete plan in place.

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