Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is en route to combining bus trips for the Jingle Pot Road-Nanaimo District Secondary School area in time for the 2019-20 school year.
From September to December, Nanaimo school district staff conducted an evaluation of regular bus routes, examining those with less than 50 per cent ridership, according to a staff report. Dave Prevost, district manager of transportation, told trustees at their last business committee meeting that a route servicing Jingle Pot Road to NDSS, which has had low ridership for years, will be consolidated with one servicing Jingle Pot to Mountain View School.
“For NDSS, it would go straight out to Andres Road, stopping at Shady Mile (Way) and such and come back through Allsop Road, picking up along the way back into Mountain View School down to NDSS,” Prevost said.
He said NDSS students are actually positively affected by this, through ride times, while Mountain View students, 81 per cent of whom are courtesy riders (live out of catchment or within district defined walk limits) will retain a large part of their service.
“They’re affected with increased ride times and earlier morning pickup times. Afternoon times stay about the same,” said Prevost
Prevost said the estimated savings would be $5,000 annually and there will be a staffing position lost.
Trustee Greg Keller asked if students currently taking the bus would still have the ability to get rides, albeit at adjusted times; Prevost said there is sufficient capacity for NDSS and Mountain View students together and confirmed that it is a time change, not a service level change.
The school district said letters and e-mails will be sent to affected families.