Transportation Update – Recent Service Disruptions

OSTA understands accurate and timely transportation information is essential for parents and students as they prepare for their school day. We make every effort to communicate delays and cancellations as they happen.

Recently, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, we have seen an increase in service disruptions related to contact tracing in schools. As drivers are asked by Ottawa Public Health to self-isolate due to the potential risk of virus transmission, short-term cancellations may occur day to day. Depending on circumstances, some routes may return to normal within a day or two, while others may be cancelled for a longer period of time due to a lack of capacity to cover cancelled routes due to an ongoing driver shortage.

Service cancellations can happen anytime, including early morning or mid-day. Consequently, it is imperative that parents remain vigilant and check OSTA’s website daily and sign up for notifications through the Parent Portal to ensure they receive the latest delay and cancellation information.

Cancellations are posted in one of two categories: Short-Term and Long-Term cancellations.

Short-term cancellations and delays

Day-to-day short-term cancellations are posted to our delay and notification page, and subscribers are notified via email as they happen. Schools are notified, and they inform parents and guardians of the affected route when possible.

Long term cancellations

Any cancellations lasting longer than a few days are posted to the long-term OCDSB and OCSB cancellation lists and posted to social media as we receive notice from the carriers. Schools are notified and inform parents and guardians of the affected route.

At times, short-term cancellations are moved to long-term cancellations based on changing circumstances. It is best to check both lists to ensure parents/guardians have the most up-to-date information.

Students on long-term cancelled routes where service is being reinstated will be sent a notice through their school, and the route will be removed from the long-term cancellation list.

Looking forward

Now, more than ever, we need to ensure school bus drivers are equipped with the necessary protection to continue serving students and their families. OSTA has advocated for bus and van drivers, to receive vaccinations in the early stages of the phase-two vaccination roll-out program in Ontario.

The most recent announcement from the office of the premier of Ontario has listed bus drivers that transport students along with Elementary / secondary school staff in Phase 2 of the vaccine distribution plan that is to occur between April to July 2021. For more information on Phase 2 please read the official announcement.

We thank you for your continued patience during these unprecedented times.