The Central Okanagan School District is addressing rising transportation costs (Capital News file)

Transportation costs jump by more than $1M for Central Okanagan School District

The school district expects to spend $4.68 million on school buses this year

Rising fuel costs and more bus routes have driven up the cost to transport students to school by more than a million dollars over the past five years, according to financial documents from the Central Okanagan School District.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan school district continues strong growth

The documents show funding has increased by 24 per cent to $4.68 million from 2015 to help cover the additional costs.

“Fuel costs are a significant concern to the district. We are paying almost $200,000 a year more for fuel than five years ago,” said Ryan Stierman, the secretary-treasurer for the school district.

During a meeting on Oct. 16, he said the district now has 74 buses — an increase of six buses from last year — and is looking at adding fuel efficient buses to cut costs. It has also hired six new bus drivers to drive the vehicles.

“We now have 17 of our buses operating on liquefied natural gas, which are cheaper to operate than a traditional gas or diesel engine,” said Stierman

According to the report, the Central Okanagan School District operates the largest busing system in the province and anticipates serving over 5,500 students once it has added the six additional routes to accommodate hundreds of extra students that enrolled this year.

Stierman said it has been difficult for the district to streamline its operations and save money as many of the 5,500 eligible students end up using alternate means of transportation to get to school.

According to the report, 22.8 per cent of students use a bus to get to school, with the largest proportion of students located on the Westside and Lake Country areas.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases identified in Kelowna, after public gatherings

Those who were downtown or at the waterfront from June 25 to July 6 maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

UPDATE: YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Rollover on Highway 97 in West Kelowna

Traffic on Highway 97 is backed up in the southbound lanes

Dog locks out Kelowna couple on 4th floor patio

Kelowna firefighters were called in to rescue the two people

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Rescued hawk returned to Lumby skies

A rehabilitated Swainson’s hawk was returned to its Rawlings Lake habitat

Most Read