Transportation Update: Reinstated Services

During this unprecedented start-up, OSTA’s priority has been student and driver safety.  The first two weeks were dedicated to ramping up services in a way that gave families, schools and our service partners, a chance to adjust to new, and constantly changing circumstances. Due to a severe driver shortage, many routes were cancelled and we understand the service disruptions are causing tremendous difficulties for families throughout the city.

This week, OSTA has started working on reinstating services using a number of creative strategies. As service is ready to resume for a group of students, a notice will be sent to the school and the school will contact the families of the cancelled route. OSTA will also send a notice to families who are subscribed to our e-mail list. To ensure you are receiving notifications please sign up here.

When service is reinstated it may not look the same; OSTA is using a number of strategies:

  • Transferring students to different routes
  • Combining multiple routes
  • Transferring high school students to OC Transpo
  • Transferring students to van service
  • Offering shuttle service at congregated stops
  • Hiring new bus companies
  • Finding alternate drivers through coach services

OSTA is working with schools to contact parents to identify students who are not planning on using transportation.  We urge parents who have made alternate arrangements to OPT-OUT by completing our online form.  This will release seats on buses to which OSTA can re-assign students from cancelled routes. By reducing loads, students who are in need of transportation can be transferred to an operational route.

OSTA continues to adapt to the changing situation and our priority is to continue to communicate with families as things evolve. We recognize that communication is critical and we are looking at strengthening the reporting process for suspected and positive Covid-19 cases at schools where transportation may be affected. We ask that parents remain vigilant as there may continue to be more short-term cancellations on routes due to ongoing Covid-19 cases. Please continue to check the list of cancellations regularly and sign up for alerts through the parent portal.

Cancellations are posted to our website, social media, subscriber list and sent to affected schools. We appreciate your ongoing patience as we work through these challenging times.