File photo of stop sign on school bus.
A possible school bus driver shortage may result in transportation woes for hundreds of Toronto students as they head back to school next week.
The Toronto Student Transportation Group, which provides school bus service to the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, said in a letter to parents on Monday that 21 of the 1750 bus routes may potentially be impacted by the bus driver shortage.
“Nearly all (99%) bus routes have a driver assigned, however, at this time, Sharp Bus Lines and Stock Transportation have indicated that they have insufficient drivers to cover all of their routes,” the statement said.
Officials said plans are in place to reassign drivers and bring in additional workers to cover the shortfall.
“Contingency plans are in place and include the reassigning of 10 routes from Stock Transportation to other carriers who have sufficient drivers available. In addition, Sharp has indicated that they will bring in 6 additional drivers, while Stock will bring in an additional 15 drivers.”
A similar situation played out last year when 60 routes were compromised due to a shortage of bus drivers.
The Toronto Student Transportation Group said they will provide an update to parents on their progress by the end of the week.
“Should there still be an indication of driver shortages for the start of the school year, parents with a child on a route that may be impacted will receive a direct email communication from TSTG so that they may make alternative travel arrangements,” the group said.
“We have instructed our bus operators that priority should be given to ensuring school bus transportation for students with special needs.”
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