OSTA Transportation Update – Next Steps

Last Updated on: 26th September 2023, 02:10 pm

We understand there have been challenges with our student transportation system, and we want to assure you that OSTA staff is working diligently to address these issues. We are making progress, and we are committed to finding alternate transportation solutions for those who are currently without service.

List of reinstated runs or runs for which an alternate solution has been found

Since September 5th, 94 runs have been reinstated. Notices have been sent out to the parents/guardians advising them of these new changes.  For the full list of reinstated routes please click this link: Full List of Reinstated Routes to date

Here are the steps we are taking to stabilize and improve the system:

Stabilizing the system (2-3 weeks)

  1. Addressing immediate safety concerns
  2. Training new drivers on routes and working with new students
  3. Accommodating new enrollments on a daily basis
  4. Prioritizing phone calls, followed by Transportation Issues Forms to address concerns promptly. We are encouraging those who have emailed us to please fill out a Transportation Issues Form to have their issues to be addressed sooner.

Evaluating and implementing short-term solutions (several weeks to months)

  1. Exploring the possibility of Coach Lines providing shuttle service for secondary students
  2. Identifying schools with the greatest needs and considering potential changes to school operations
  3. Redesigning routes to combine or extend them
  4. Reassigning students to another route at stops farther away
  5. Coordinating with Para Transpo to provide wheelchair service
  6. Reassigning students to OC Transpo where there is capacity
  7. Reassigning students to vans where they can be integrated

Exploring longer-term solutions: (30 days to 3 months)

  1. Conducting an MOE Operational review in the next 30 days to improve efficiency and ensure appropriate funding for the system
  2. Sending out a Request for Interest/Information in the next 30 days to find new operators interested in taking over the city’s west end contract
  3. Conducting a Bell Time Review in the next 3 months to determine if adjusting school start and end times can help transport more students
  4. Considering a potential new policy to reallocate unused bus seats to new riders
  5. Exploring the possibility of expanding OCTranspo’s role in providing transportation to all secondary students in the UTA based on available capacity

It is important to note that these solutions will take time to implement. Our staff needs to explore options, establish agreements with potential vendors, make changes to routes, and communicate with drivers and parents/guardians. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding throughout this process.

If you know anyone who may be interested in becoming a bus driver, we encourage you to spread the word about www.driveyellow.ca. This website provides comprehensive information about qualifications, training, operators, and an easy application process.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we work to improve our transportation services. We are committed to finding effective solutions and providing reliable transportation for our students.