A survey has found the vast majority of residents support increasing fees to maintain or improve school bus services in the Central Okanagan, according to school district treasurer Ryan Stierman.
Stierman said almost 77 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of increasing fees if services remained the same or were improved during a district transportation survey in December.
The survey was part of a bigger transportation consultation process conducted by the district between October and December to see how transportation services can be improved for students at it’s 43 schools.
So far, five different public meetings and two public surveys have been held as part of the consultation process.
“In the first survey, we heard that we need to start prioritizing transportation services for younger students,” said Stierman.
“The second survey showed that 78 per cent of parents were supportive to increases in fees if transportation services remained the same or enhanced.”
Based on feedback from over 1,000 parents who completed the second survey, Stierman said a transportation steering committee will now put together recommendations for a final review that’s scheduled to be released on Feb. 5.
Stierman said the committee was formed to see how the district could better utilize transportation funding on a limited budget.
“The committee was created last year due to ballooning costs in transportation costs, which have increased 24 per cent over last year,” said Stierman.
“While there is a demand for more transportation service and our costs have gone up, our funding hasn’t been increasing.”
Stierman said the district has $3.1 million in transportation funding for this school year.
In December, it was revealed that the Central Okanagan was the third fastest growing school district in the province.