Sooke school bus changes, higher fees possible

Sooke parents could see changes to how their child gets to school once the board of education presents its 2016 budget.

Sooke parents could see changes to how their child gets to school once the board of education presents its 2016 budget.

The school district subsidizes many of its bus routes and needs to look at ways to manage transportation costs and find efficiencies.

The Sooke School District, however, will seek “substantial public input” before any changes are made,” said Bob Phillips, the new board chairman.

It’s not yet clear what form those efficiencies could take, but Phillips said increased fees and changes to transportation services are being considered.

“There will be consultation. Busing is a big issue in this part of the district, and it’s certainly not an option for families living in Shirley, Otter Point or East Sooke,” he said.

In the past, busing was funded by the district. Now parents and the district share the costs.

The busing issue came to a head this fall when school began and demand for transportation outpaced resources available. The district was forced to use spare buses to answer the need.

Last week the board received approval from the Education Ministry to buy four new buses.

Much of the problem is the growth of the district where more than 300 students enrolled in September. To keep up with the demand on bus services, the district was forced to add another route in Sooke.

School trustee Margot Swinburnson said the district needs to look at how it delivers transportation services.

“We need to look forward,” she said.

Perhaps the answer, she said, is some form of partnership with B.C. Transit where there is a sharing of resources, particularly in the area west of Sooke.

Parents have said they don’t mind higher fees for busing if they get good service and there is no untoward on early pick up and late arrivals, Phillips said.

“We really need the parents to tell us what are their goals and aspirations and limits,” he said.

The Sooke School District has an annual operating budget of $97.1 million. The 2016 budget must be approved by May.

 

Just Posted

Suprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

Drunk drivers targeted in Sooke

Police also on lookout for those driving high

Custom motorcycle and wood cutter stolen from Sooke motorcycle shop

2006 Husqvarna motorcycle and 2-ton log splitter taken from outbuilding

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Most Read