Better bus service for students of the HWDSB

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David Colley,
General Manager, HWSTS,
905.523.2318 ext. 3274
Fax:   905.549.5930

Alex Johnstone,
Trustee, Wards 11 & 12 (Vice-Chair), HWDSB

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

For the third year in a row, the Hamilton Wentworth Student Transportation Services is experiencing major delays.  Yesterday the delays exceeded 2 hours for our bus (our stop is Shaver Estates which is at Shaver Road in Ancaster near Wilson Street).  Delays are forecast for the foreseeable future.  These delays are completely unacceptable and are causing significant disruptions in the lives of our children and our family. 

If yesterday and previous years are any indication, our children will have to wait for a long time each evening in the gymnasium at Fessenden in the heat, without adequate food, while exhausted from a day at school until they board the bus.  This is being done under the supervision of faculty who could be using their time better to plan lessons and activities or complete administrative duties.  In addition our children will be missing afternoon and early evening activities, study time, and time together with their family.

We have planned our lives around the schedules issued by the school board and the transportation service.  On average 20-30 children from our neighbourhood use the bus at Shaver Estates.  Many parents in this neighbourhood are scrambling to make alternative arrangements.  Unfortunately we don’t know what to specifically expect from day to day.  Young children, particularly those in kindergarten, are confused, frightened, tired, and agitated.  This does not make school enjoyable for children and creates great frustration for families.

While the HWDSB and the Hamilton Wentworth Student Transportation Services operate as separate entities, we, the undersigned, call on you to work together to resolve these unnecessary and very disruptive delays.  These problems are completely unacceptable, particularly since it is the third year in a row.  Unfortunately such issues are not just at the start of the school year, as major delays were experienced in May and June of 2018 when a bus driver on our route was dismissed and an alternative could not be found.  These ongoing problems are widely known.  Yet any measures taken to resolve the issue have achieved no improvement.

We know that you can do better, and we expect better.  We eagerly await your speedy and collective resolution to this avoidable mess.