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To Run or Not to Run

Posted on Jan 10, 2018

School bus transportation and Winter weather

The decision to run or cancel school bus transportation due to weather concerns or road conditions is made by the Director of Transportation. It is not a decision that is made lightly. There are a number of factors the Transportation Department considers when making the call. In addition to traveling and scouting roads himself, Director of Transportation Rhett Czaban has a number of local contacts in all Northern Gateway communities with whom he is in contact with in the early hours. He is also in contact with NGPS school bus drivers who may already be on the road.

Environment Canada, 511 and cameras located up and down the Highway 43 corridor are consulted throughout the day. The initial determination to run or not to run is made between 6:00 am and 6:30 am and is communicated as follows:

If you do not see a cancellation message on ngps.ca, facebook or twitter, buses are running. 

Administrative Procedure 131 (http://bit.ly/2g0vaYQ) refers to -40 degrees Celsius, including wind chill, as one determination factor. This point is based on area data, not specific site information. While individual homes may have thermometers indicating a temperature below the specified -40 degrees Celsius, the data that is collected for each area is the evidence that is used to support the decision made by the Transportation Department.

The Director of Transportation utilizes his best judgment, based on the combination of temperature, visibility, and road conditions, when making his decision about running buses. The primary consideration in the event of severe weather conditions is whether it is SAFE to be transporting children. The expanse of the Division (375 km along Highway 43) means that running buses is not an all or nothing response as conditions can vary greatly from school area to school area. NGPS is committed to being reasonable, responsible, and attentive to the information that is available throughout the day in all areas.

What can parents do?

During inclement weather, the final decision to send a child to the bus stop or to school rests with parents, even though buses and schools may be operational. Parents are expected to exercise good judgment and care when deciding whether or not to send their child(ren) to school when weather conditions are extreme.

 

 

Leave a comment:

Shannon soper said on January 10, 2018

The biggest concern with buses running at this temp is the amount of children on buses that are not dressed appropriately for this type of weather . It is not only a danger and concern for student if the bus happens to break down or get into an accident during these temps it's a large concern . I do supervision every day and these kids are at risk for what? ! I think they should not run at these temps . It's just not worth the risk.

Collette Blasko said on January 11, 2018

Dismayed that the extreme cold weather warning for our area is ignored. Dangerous conditions -42 Children have to walk to the buses. Skin freezes yes it is up to me to decide to send my children but all the parents whom will send their children are putting them at significant risk.