Provide all students of SD23 from West Kelowna to Peachland with school bus transportation

Provide all students of SD23 from West Kelowna to Peachland with school bus transportation

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Nicole Day started this petition to School District 23 and

There is a large number of parents who are currently encountering transportation issues for students located in West Kelowna, Westbank and Peachland. At this point in time we are aware of at least 67 students who have been denied transportation.

The transportation policies, revised this past year have left many parents without transportation for their kids.

The mandate as outlined on the SD23 transportation website, highlights the importance of “providing students SAFE, reliable, economical and ACCESSIBLE transportation that would be conducive to their learning.” This mandate is clearly NOT being met.

As such, we are requesting that transportation mandates be revised to accommodate the majority of students in West Kelowna, Westbank and Peachland who are not in a reasonable walking distance.

We propose the distance requirements for eligible students be cut back to a reasonable walking distance according to age.

(Unacceptable) Current Distance Requirements:

Elementary Schools - 3.0 kms

Middle School   - 4.0 kms

Secondary Schools - 4.8 kms


Newly Proposed (Acceptable) Distance Requirements:

Elementary Schools - 1.0 kms

Middle School   - 1.5 kms

Secondary Schools - 2.0 kms


From a SAFETY perspective, students who are expected to walk to school (some currently up to one hour each way) have to pass by homeless camps and may need to cross the highway, or busy roads only increases the safety risk that much more.

Based on the 2019 ICBC statistics for West Kelowna, Mount Boucherie Road, Hudson Drive and Highway 97 had 252 incidents. Bartley and Highway 97 had 178 incidents. That said, this demonstrates safety concerns for students expected to walk to school.

How can the school district uphold their mandate if they deny students safe transportation. Has SD23 and the transportation office taken into account the lack of sidewalks on city property, poor lighting, snow plowing, homeless camps, pot shops, wildlife and safety concerns for students without transport residing on the Westside?

Additionally, the use of public city transportation has proven to be unreliable. Not only are there not enough accessible routes, but our children are being left on the curb daily on the very limited existing routes. Our children are made to wait for a second pick up by the same bus driver, therefore causing students to be very late for school. The small buses that the city transit are currently using cannot hold the amount of students that SD23 have left without transportation. This problem will only worsen as the development of new housing continues to rise at a fast pace!

In addition, we have obvious safety concerns with our children on the city transit.  We received a report from a parent of a female student who was groped at the city bus exchange. This is one too many reports. There also an injectable site set up between the city transit bus exchange and the high school. One parent reported that they themselves were offered meth while out on a walk one day. It is clear that city transportation is not a safe, accessible or reliable option for our children.

We recognize that funding issues have been limiting the accessibility of transportation for students; however, funding issues should not affect student’s safety and their ability to secure appropriate transportation. The School District received more funds this year, and have chosen not to allot more funds for transportation. Parents are willing to pay the current $300 fee for their children to get to school safely, why keep cutting back, why not find a solution to make sure every student has a safe and proper transportation to school?

The School District proposed that parents with children who are considered courtesy riders and left without a seat on the bus may collectively private charter SD23’s buses and their drivers. The estimate that was provided for the 2020-2021 school year was at an approximate cost of $1200/year per student. This is not acceptable as taxpayers. It is clear that SD23 has the resources since we’re able to privately charter them, but is refusing to allot funds where they are clearly needed. 

Further concerns include;

- CNB and MBSS combining students and sharing buses.

SD23 transportation have a Covid restriction in place to only have 1 child per seat but are transporting students from 2 different schools together on the same buses with a combined total of 2450 students. Where is the logic?


- Why aren’t there more school buses this year since the schools are back at full capacity?

Last year grades 10-12 had every other afternoon off.. this year is full capacity which means buses should be at the same!

We propose high school students and middle school students on separate buses and 2 students per seat to double the amount of children on the buses instead of wasting resources.

This should also be able to eliminate buses doing 2 shifts of pick ups and drop offs, which is causing students to arrive either way too early before school, or arriving home too late after school.


- Parents who share custody of their children and live in two separate catchment areas.

Accommodations should be made to allow students more than one bus pass in such living situations.


- The School District is not supportive of students attending French Immersion. Students attending French Immersion are discriminated against based on the catchment areas outlined by the board and are refused transportation.

Accommodations should be made to allow all students access to bussing to French Immersion schools within the newly proposed distance requirements, regardless of catchment areas.

- International students are being given priority seats before the local families who pay taxes.

Transportation should be granted to all students equally within the newly proposed distance requirements. 


The lack of transportation is affecting children and their families from an economic, mental health and safety perspective. This issue adds undue stress on the families who have been denied access to transportation. FOR THE KIDS, BUSSING SHOULD NOT BE A COURTESY, IT SHOULD BE MANDATORY! Kids have the right to go to school and have the right to safe transportation.

Therefore, we are requesting these issues be addressed immediately not in months, or years to come.

This has been an ongoing issue on the Westside and is only getting worse. That said, this is the beginning of a collective community approach to demand safe transportation for our students.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!