Overview

The Student Transportation Task Force addressed issues facing student transportation services, with the goal to get students to school as safely and efficiently as possible.

Student transportation was identified as an item needing further review during meetings with school authorities and charter schools in preparation for Budget 2020.

Timeline

  • Open

    Fall 2020

  • Results under review

  • Completed

Who is listening

Ministry of Education

Outcomes

The task force used the feedback gathered to develop the 21 recommendations found in the Student Transportation Task Force: Report to the Minister.

Alberta Education will begin implementing the recommendations through a three-phase action plan in May 2021.

Panel recommendations include:

  • Establishing a working group to address concerns related to entry-level training programs
  • Creating audit teams to review school transportation operations
  • Ensuring the funding model is sufficient for legislated school transportation requirements
  • Exploring current speed limits for school buses
  • Working collaboratively with municipalities and law enforcement to ensure there is consistent enforcement of flybys
  • Improving awareness and driver education of school bus flybys

*Flybys refer to situations when a vehicle passes a school bus that has stopped to collect or drop off students.

Next steps

Phase 1 (starting May 2021)

Two audit teams will begin reviewing student transportation operations of up to 15 school divisions. A joint working group will be established between the government and task force members to further discuss student transportation issues.

Phase 2 (start by September 2021)

Phase two will focus on enhancing regional cooperation among school divisions. It will also examine a provincial purchasing program for buses, fuel, insurance and parts.

Phase 3 (complete by September 2022)

Phase three focuses on the development of a student transportation-funding model for the 2022/23 or 2023/24 school year. The current legislated student transportation requirements, including eligibility criteria, will be reviewed as part of this work.

Mandate

The Student Transportation Task Force provided options and recommendations to improve transportation for students attending public, separate, Francophone and charter schools, considering:

  • cost
  • eligibility
  • safety
  • school board and industry responsibilities
  • co-operation between partners
  • various service delivery models
  • services for students with disabilities

The Minister of Education is reviewing recommendations provided by the task force.

Read the full Terms of reference (PDF, 233 KB)

Members

The MLA led task force consisted of representatives from the student transportation industry and education and community partners.

Representatives from government:

  • Nathan Neudorf, chair, MLA, Lethbridge-East
  • Tracy Allard, MLA, Grande Prairie
  • Michaela Glasgo, MLA, Brooks-Medicine Hat
  • Nate Horner, MLA, Drumheller-Stettler
  • Matt Jones, MLA, Calgary-South East

Representatives from key education and community partners:

  • Josée Devaney, secretary-treasurer, Conseil Scolaire Centre-Nord (Fédération des Conseils Scolaires Francophone de l'Alberta representative)
  • Dexter Durfey, secretary-treasurer, Palliser School Division (Association of School Business Officials of Alberta representative)
  • Trisha Estabrooks, board chair, Edmonton Public School Board (Alberta School Boards Association representative)
  • Brenda Gibson, manager, Transportation Services, Calgary Board of Education (College of Alberta School Superintendents representative)
  • Chris Gilmour, Superintendent of Connect Charter School, The Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools
  • Andrew Knack, councillor, City of Edmonton (Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Representative)
  • Jody McKinnon, manager, Transportation, Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School Division (Student Transportation Association of Alberta representative)
  • Kathy Rooyakkers, District 3 director, Pembina River (Rural Municipalities of Alberta)
  • Jacquie Surgenor, director from Sherwood Park (Alberta School Councils’ Association representative)

Representatives from student transportation industry partners:

  • Yacine Belhadj, area manager for Alberta, Calgary (First Student Inc.)
  • Mark Critch, president, Fort McMurray (Sparksman Transportation)
  • Brian Hauptman, general manager, Student Transportation, Edmonton (Golden Arrow Motor Coaches)
  • Jonathan Weal, regional director for Southern Alberta and director of business development, Southland Transportation Calgary (Pacific Western Transportation)

Members agreed to meet virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the importance of the work.

Contact

For further information, please email [email protected].

Last updated: May 10, 2021

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