School bus route changes considered in Nanaimo, Ladysmith

First bus route review released by Nanaimo school district

Nanaimo school district could axe a bus route and extend ride times for its northernmost students while improving service for the south.

The school district has released results of its first bus route review with four proposals for change next September.

A bus route review, triggered by a new transportation policy, will happen every year and uses criteria like ridership numbers, lighting and public transportation to help guide recommendations on the provision of busing. All routes were considered for the inaugural review, but the next is expected to look at only selected runs, such as ones where staff know data has changed or eligible ridership has dipped 50 per cent. The community can also request a review.

At a business committee meeting Wednesday, Pete Sabo, district director of planning and operations, said the idea is to have a dynamic transportation program that can shift and change with the needs of the district.

Recommended changes for September are to eliminate service for Dover Bay secondary students catching the bus on Hammond Bay Road, with staff pointing out there are 12 registered, eligible riders, safe walk conditions and available public transit. Students will be able to access partial funding to cover costs of transportation, the report says.

It also recommends combining bus routes out of Lantzville, including two routes to Seaview and another two to Dover Bay.

Transportation supervisor Dave Prevost said it’s something the district should do because it’s efficient and it would transport the same number of students. Half the riders would see a “slightly longer” bus ride and Dover Bay students would be dropped off 10 minutes earlier in the morning and picked up 10 minutes later in the afternoon, which Prevost called the largest adverse effect.

South of Nanaimo, students could see a boost in service. Bus routes 11 and 15, from the Cassidy and Yellow Point areas, drop off students about an hour before school starts at Ladysmith Secondary, and the district has received complaints.

With redesigned routes, students are expected to see better timing, such as being picked up later in the morning and dropped off closer to bell times, picked up sooner after bell times in the afternoon, and wherever possible, the ride wll be shortened, according to Sabo, who said the details are not ready yet. Routes 8, 11, 12, 15 and 17 would all be redesigned.

Superintendent John Blain said shifts and changes for recommendations one, two and three – regarding Hammond Bay and Lantzville – lead the district into supporting improvements in item four, the service from Cassidy and Yellow Point to Ladysmith Secondary.

“It’s shifting just the assignments and being flexible for the needs of the day,” he said.

Trustee Jamie Brennan said staff has taken a good look at the territory and considered the potential danger and hopefully safety of the various routes and has come up with a good report with some solid recommendations.

Stephanie Higginson, trustee, said she appreciates “that we now have the ability to not just say, well this is a cut-off line, you are 4.8 kilometres, but actually look at safety situations and issues and whether there’s accessible other forms of transportation.”

Trustees recommended at a business committee Wednesday that the school board receive the report and, in a separate motion, they also supported continuing bus service from Davis Road to North Oyster Elementary. The route was grandfathered into the system with a 2021 expiry date after the closure of École Davis Road, but according to Blain, the Ministry of Education has brought forward a transportation fund, enrolment has increased and there’s stability and the district is able to support the route.

PAC presidents for Ladysmith and Dover secondary schools could not be reached for comment. The review can be found at goo.gl/cnCKvg.



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Fatality at highway crash in Nanoose Bay Friday afternoon

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Students celebrate new indigenous garden

Garden teaches students about traditional uses of local plants

School district changes mind, won’t cut community school coordinators

Budget initiatives proposed for next school year

Nanaimo region receives $700,000 in federal support for summer jobs

Funding for Nanaimo-Ladysmith up $74,000 from last year

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

RCMP investigate sexual assault in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating a reported sexual assault April 11

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

Most Read