Ottawa Student Transportation Authority Releases Plan to Resolve Current Bus Driver Shortage

Last Updated on: 23rd October 2023, 03:16 pm

Ottawa, Ontario – The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority Board of Directors today released the following statement: 

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) Board of Directors acknowledges the frustration of parents and students impacted by the on-going school bus driver shortage in Ottawa. We apologize for the hardship caused by the continued cancellations. 

OSTA is actively working with operators to cover a shortage of 50 school bus drivers, down from 71 on October 5th. This driver shortage results in the long-term cancellation of approximately 4% (216 runs) of all transportation services managed by OSTA. As part of OSTA’s on-going DriveYellow recruitment campaign, operators have received more than 430 applications. The operator’s hiring process typically takes around four to six weeks.

Today, OSTA is announcing a plan to resolve the 50-driver shortage.

  • 33 drivers are now in training, primarily due to OSTA’s DriveYellow recruitment campaign.
  • 12 drivers will be made available by maximizing the efficiency of our existing fleet by consolidating existing runs serviced with buses, not at capacity.
  • 5 drivers will be made available due to hundreds of students attending two new west-end schools within walking distance from their homes.

Driver vacancies can fluctuate based on retention, holidays, and medical absences. 

OSTA will continue to update the public on the solutions and commitments that OSTA has made to parents and students. In the future, OSTA will provide public updates on the shortage of drivers and the number of run cancellations on the 15th and 30th of every month.