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

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

Photo of Devon Brazeau. (Contributed)
Missing Kelowna man found safe and sound

Devon Brazeau had last been seen on Nov. 20 before being located

McDonald’s at 155 Hollywood Road N in Kelowna. (Contributed)
Rutland McDonald’s reopens after closure due to COVID-19 exposure

The restaurant shut down on Monday for a thorough cleaning and sanitization after a staff member tested positive for the virus

Landmark GRand 10 Cinemas in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
New COVID-19 protocols temporarily close Okanagan theatres

Kelowna Cineplex and Landmark 10 are part of the latest health regulations in limiting events

(City of Kelowna)
Kelowna council quashes welcome sign proposal

Council struck down the proposed sign along Highway 97 after deeming it leaned more artistic than welcoming

This year’s Santa Shuffle and Elf Walk will be virtual. (Santa Shuffle - Facebook)
Annual Santa Shuffle and Elf Walk goes virtual

Participants can walk or run to raise funds between Dec. 5 and Dec. 12

The Animal Food Bank is asking for donations as the pandemic continues and the holidays approach. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Okanagan Animal Food Bank in need of donations as pandemic continues

The Animal Food Bank provides food for any domestic pet in need

A colourful inflatable igloo is a new addition to Vernon Winter Carnival 2021, if the multi-day event can proceed amid health regulations. (Vernon Winter Carnival photo)
Vernon Winter Carnival still hoping to light up 2021 amid COVID-19

Event gets support from city in attempts to continue while navigating health regulations

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Product Care offers more than <a href="" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Vernon Towne Theatre and Galaxy Cinemas are closed under the latest pandemic protocols. (File photo)
COVID-19 closes North Okanagan movie theatres, again

Galaxy Cinemas and Towne Theatre part of latest health regulations in limiting events

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu turns 105

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

Most Read