School bus user fees are going up in the Central Okanagan (File photo)

Central Okanagan school board approves $75 increase for school bus fees

Parents will now have to fork out $300 for each child taking a school bus in 2020/2021

School bus fees are officially going up from $225 to $300 annually for each student that uses a bus to get to school in the Central Okanagan.

School board members voted to approve the cost hike for the 2020/2021 school year at a board meeting on Wednesday night (Feb. 27).

To help keep transportation costs under control, board members also voted to implement a route cap for school buses operating in the Central Okanagan.

READ MORE: Survey finds 78 per cent support fee increases to maintain Central Okanagan school bus services

Board trustee Moyra Baxter said the route cap is necessary to avoid higher transportation fees for families in the future.

“When we keep adding more routes in our district, we end up with a great deal of problems,” said Baxter.

“If we didn’t implement a route cap, we would end up having to pay an additional $120,000 to put in a new bus for each additional school bus route.”

With the route cap in place, district secretary treasurer Ryan Stierman said there will only be one new school bus route added for the 2020/2021 school year. There will also be 110 less seats available on school buses for courtesy riders.

Students are considered courtesy riders when they are not eligible for school bus transportation due to living too close to a school.

Other transportation recommendations approved by the board for next year include charging an additional fee for school bus users who ride on two school bus routes and new transportation cost exemptions for lower-income families in the district.

The deadline to register a bus user for the 2020/2021 school year is May 31.

To view all of the items discussed at the board meeting, you can visit the school district’s website.


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