Ottawa Student Transportation Agency Considering Vans, Bus Services and OC Transpo to Shuttle Between Students During Driver Shortage


OTTAWA – The Ottawa School Transportation Authority insists it is taking action to restore school bus service for hundreds of students without a bus ride to school this fall.

The plan includes the use of a van service, the provision of a shuttle service and the provision of OC Transpo passes to high school students.

On September 11, the authority announced that more than 2,300 Ottawa students will not be taking their regular school buses due to a “severe shortage of drivers.” At the time, the authority was short of more than 100 bus drivers for the yellow school buses.

Several school bus routes have been canceled since the start of the school year.

In a statement released Thursday, OSTA said it has started work on restoring services using a number of “creative strategies.” When the service is ready to resume for a group of students, a notice will be sent to the school and the school will contact the families.

Strategies for school bus service include:

  • Transfer of students to different routes

  • Combine multiple routes

  • Transfer of high school students to OC Transpo

  • Transfer of students to van service

  • Offer a shuttle service to grouped stops

  • Hiring of new bus companies

  • Find alternative drivers through coach services

The Ottawa School Transportation Authority says it is working with schools to contact parents to identify students who are not planning to use transportation options this fall. Parents who have made other arrangements to withdraw are asked to complete the online form. OSTA says this will free up seats on buses so that students can be reassigned from canceled routes.

On Thursday, the Ottawa Student Transportation Agency announced that four routes serving four schools are canceled until further notice.

The administration also continues to hire new drivers for the school year.

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