School District 60 looking at possible fees for bus ridership

He estimates the School District must find another $700,000 in order to match its expenditures to revenues.

“This is not something the board takes lightly because we value the access for students who attend schools in a commuter way. The costs are above and beyond what we can afford to do.”

The Transportation Department has been tasked to maximize the efficiency of school bus routes in order to save costs, but that won’t be enough. At Monday night’s School Board meeting, it was also recommended they issue notice of a pending annual fee for ridership that would begin this September.

The suggested cost per family would be $200 each for the first two children, and $500 for a family of three children or more. That works out to $1.10 per day for each of the first two children, 55 cents for the third child and no fee any addition children. Comparably, a monthly B.C. Transit bus pass would cost $350 for 10 months.

Based on this year’s ridership, those fees would bring in $406,000, which means the School District would still be looking to make almsot an additional $300,000.

“This amount does not meet out needs as of yet, so we are going to have to do that, if this is approved, in combination with other reductions to minimize the hardship,” says Boyd. “We feel that this is a means by which we can still try to maintain, as best as possible, the system that we have… although this money doesn’t match up with the total amount.”

Boyd says the Board of Education will continue to work with the Ministry of Education on funding, but also points out that it is not required to provide transportation. It is also open to input on alternative funding solutions and a newsletter will soon be issued requesting ideas in writing by May 8, 2013.

“This is not a pleasant state to be in, but it is a reality,” adds Boyd.

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About Erica Fisher 4010 Articles

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.