2017 Bus Route/Pickup and Drop Off

The 2016/17 school year is ending; many questions have been answered, and many mysteries have been solved. However, one outstanding topic has yet to be explained: What is the reasoning for the added bus routes and drop-off bus system implemented this year? This article will look at the many perspectives derived from faculty and students, and their opinion on the topic, hopefully concluding and helping us to answer this long-untold mystery.

Every morning between 8 am, and 8:30 am the Senior School has a high number of vehicles dropping off students. This is the same time the school bus routes arrive.  Senior School Principal Mr. Gary Kern stated that “Transportation is a big issue for the school and there are two challenges; the traffic during drop off and the impact on the environment.” By implementing a new drop-off system buses are now dropped off at Camosun Street rather than West 29th Avenue to avoid the morning congestion. This will provide students with a safer environment on the crosswalk, and prevent buses from driving through residential areas West of the campus. The influence to prompt a new bus drop-off this was “to reduce congestion in front of the school and therefore improve traffic flow for the community and increase safety for the students” (Mr. Gary Backhouse). The school received complaints about the driving habits of vehicles that come to the school, so the change was in motion. The idea was proposed by Mr. Backhouse (Head of transportation), security, faculty, and the senior school community.

The school hires many bus drivers, and it is important to know who is driving our buses every morning. The drivers that are part of the school staff are hired based on experience and personality. These drivers are committed to operating the vehicles in a safe and efficient manner, and are comfortable working with students. Mr. Backhouse said that “They hire Class 2 driver’s license as a minimum requirement, and have at least five years of experience driving a commercial vehicle, preferably a school bus.  All drivers must submit a driving record check from ICBC and are required to go through a criminal record search.” The school strives to promote the safest experience for students and carefully hire their bus drivers.  12 out of 25 students believe that the driving of the bus drivers at the school is acceptable. Many believe that the new bus routes “are more useful for reducing the school’s environmental footprint,” while “Opening greater opportunities for more bus routes for the students to get home.” As for the new drop-off system, Mr. Kern “believes it is a great opportunity to get some exercise and fresh air after their bus ride” students agree with what the Senior School Principal had to say with a few words of their own.   ”It forces us to exercise in the morning while crossing Nigel Toy Field.”

The school decided to stop charging the students a monthly fee for bus use to increase the ridership on the buses. Mr. Backhouse added “As part of the Environmental Stewardship program, the school has committed to reducing its environmental footprint, and one part of the overall strategy is to decrease the number of students being driven to and from the school each day. Realistically the student fees help cover the cost of the buses.” The school sees busing as a key way to reach transportation goals and reduce the environmental footprint. By promoting usage fewer students drive to school via personal automobiles and rather use a less environmentally damaging alternative, buses.

There are many reasons why the school decided to implement these new drop-off systems and bus routes.

They feel that this is a justified decision made by the faculty and staff, which helps reduce congestion in the morning and helps shrink the overall environmental footprint created by our Co2 emission.