Ontario Seeking Public Input on Student Transportation
Province Looking at How System can Better Support Students
Ontario is seeking public input on how to strengthen its student transportation system and create a new vision for the future of student transportation that will be responsive to the changing needs of students and school boards, as well as school bus drivers and operators.
The engagement focuses on four key areas: safety and well-being for students, equity in transportation services, responsiveness to student needs, and accountability in service delivery.
Starting today, people in Ontario are encouraged to get involved by:
- Reading A Discussion Paper on a New Vision for Student Transportation in Ontario
- Reviewing the online discussions questions
- Submitting ideas and suggestions to ST.firstname.lastname@example.org by March 29, 2018
Feedback will also be gathered from school boards, student transportation partners and industry groups. Their insights along with public feedback will be used to produce a final report on strategies and recommendations for creating a sustainable student transportation system. This report will inform future changes to transportation funding and policy.
To address the unique labour market challenges faced by the sector, Ontario is also investing $60 million over the next two years to support the recruitment and retention of drivers while this broader review is underway.
Developing a new vision for student transportation is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- More than 800,000 students — or 40 per cent of students enrolled in Ontario — use student transportation services each school day.
- Earlier this year, Joan Green and Michel Paulin were appointed as the two executive co-leads for the student transportation engagement.
- Ontario provides school boards with funding for student transportation through the Grants for Student Needs (GSN). For the 2017-18 school year, funding for student transportation is projected to be $919.6 million.
“We’re taking a fresh look at the way student transportation is delivered in Ontario. With your ideas and insights, we can find solutions to current challenges and capitalize on new opportunities to improve our system for the students and families that rely on it every school day.”