North Okanagan-Shuswap School District targets additional funds for transportation

Some North Okanagan-Shuswap students may be back on the bus

School District #83 will be applying for $561

Some North Okanagan-Shuswap students may be back on the bus.

Trustee Mike McKay decided Tuesday to apply for $561,925 in provincial funding for student transportation.

“The district hasn’t received a nickle yet,” said McKay, sounding a cautionary note.

If the application is successful, the district plans to enhance routes in outlying areas resulting in improved services and reduced ride times for students

There could also be additional routes to address capacity issues due to increased ridership across the school district.

Students at Salmon Arm Secondary’s dual campuses currently within the walk limit could also access transportation.

The district is also looking to amend walk limits to 3.5 kilometres for all students which will provide further enhanced services and improved safety.

There will also be a process to evaluate and address safety issues on walking routes to bus stops and schools within walk limits.

McKay says the plan is ambitious and it captures all of the funding the ministry has said is available to the district.

If the district receives the funding, not all of the changes will be coming during this school year.

“Because of the geographical complexity of the district and the fact that most routes have already been established for the school year, there are some changes that will need to wait until a full review of the routes and catchment areas is completed,” states a release.

“Amending the walk limits will result in a comprehensive review of the district’s bus routes and catchment areas, and this can’t be completed until the spring. The new routes could then be implemented in the 2017/18 school year.”