More parents are raising concerns about school bus service in the Halifax Regional Municipality, saying buses are showing up late or not at all.
According to the Halifax Regional Centre for Education’s (HRCE) website, dozens of buses have shown up late since school started on Sept. 8. Some were listed as an hour late.
As a result, HRCE sent out a notice to parents and guardians that it’s taking steps to improve service.
“Regardless of the size of the challenge, we do not feel the service some families have received is acceptable,” read the notice sent on Friday.
But that’s not enough for people like Julia Cameron in West Porters Lake. She owns a private daycare business and is responsible for getting students on and off the bus before and after classes.
Last year, Cameron successfully advocated for Stock Transportation to get a school bus stop right outside of the daycare on Old Mineville Road, instead of the busier West Porters Lake Road.
But on Aug. 25, she found out that the stop had been changed.
“It really left us scrambling at the daycare in terms of how we were going to get the children to and from West Porters Lake Road,” said Cameron.
It’s a concerning situation for Cameron, who says the road isn’t safe – especially in the winter.
“We live in a community with very, very unpredictable weather and very unpredictable road conditions,” said Cameron.
“If there are 100, 150 secondary roads along the Eastern Shore, is the bus company going to pull all of the buses off all of those secondary roads because of that off-chance when the weather is really poor?”
Cameron also notes speed and negligence have always been issues in the area.
“I’ve observed three vehicles go right through the flashing red lights when the school bus was stopped,” said Cameron. “Our children have to cross West Porters Lake Road and wait in an area that is not lit, so it’s not only dark but it’s dangerous.”
No one with the Halifax Regional Centre for Education was available for comment on Monday.
Cameron says both she and parents have written and phoned Student Transportation of Canada, as well as received support from their local MLA, but have not received a response.
“We’re trying to make due, parents have been helping, but it’s absolutely not a solution.”
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