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Ottawa school bus driver shortage affecting transportation for thousands of students

OSTA General Manager Vicky Kyriaco says OC Transpo has stepped up in a big way.
MVT School bus zone
File photo

Kids are back in classrooms, but the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) is still having trouble getting some of them there as it continues to cancel bus routes due to a driver shortages.

According to OSTA General Manager Vicky Kyriaco, once a driver hands in their keys for good and no longer works for the authority, their route is placed on a long-term cancellation list.

She explains there have been upwards of 400 cancelled routes for this academic year. In response, affected children have been redistributed onto other nearby routes as an interim solution to address the gaps.

However, Kyriaco remains hopeful more permanent solutions can be found.

"We're really hoping that we can try and address those routes on the long-term cancellation list by hiring more drivers, by reorganizing routes," she told CityNews Ottawa's The Sam Laprade Show on Tuesday, September 14.

Kyriaco adds, since there was an additional 4,000 students in need of transportation to school, OC Transpo stepped in to assist and continues to do so.

"They were very good working with us -- finding out which postal codes kids reside in, what are the bell times," the OSTA GM explained. "We're really happy with the way things have worked out with OC Transpo."

OSTA is continuously hiring and training school bus drivers. Those interested are encouraged to head over to the authority's website for more information. 

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