Chilliwack School District 33 has stayed ahead of the bus driver shortage afflicting other districts in B.C. and beyond. (Black Press file)

Central Okanagan students face school bus hike

Fees to increase to $400 for 2023-24 school year

The Central Okanagan Board of Education has signed off on raising the transportation fee from $350 to $400 for students riding the school bus for the 2023-24 school year.

The fee increase, recommended by the finance and audit committee, is in response to an approximate $215,000 increase in school busing costs for the upcoming school year.

That cost hike is derived from an increase in fuel and supply costs, at $150,000, and the addition of a new bus route in the school district due to enrolment growth, costing $70,000.

An elementary school student is considered eligible for school bus transportation if their home address is at least three kilometres from their catchment area school, for middle school students that distance is four km, and for secondary students, it is 4.8 km.

Fee hardship initiatives are also in place to assist students who can’t afford school bus fees.

The school district receives a $600,000 subsidy to fund the school bus program, which is not mandated under the School Act.

Central Okanagan Public Schools must provide about $3.8 million from its school operating fund, money that otherwise would be spent on school programs, to keep the bus service in place.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan trustees move to silence false rhetoric

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