Changes to Okanagan-Skaha School District busing policy could see additional costs for courtesy riders | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Changes to Okanagan-Skaha School District busing policy could see additional costs for courtesy riders

Public consultations over changes to School District 67's transportation policy are scheduled for January, 2020.
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December 18, 2019 - 3:46 PM

Proposed changes to School District 67’s transportation policy could see parents paying a fee for courtesy riders.

School superintendent Wendy Hyer said in an email today, Dec. 18, the board passed a motion at Monday’s board meeting to approve in principle changes to the transportation policy allowing for courtesy riders to pay a cost recovery fee for using the school bus.

A courtesy rider is a student who lives within “parental responsibility distance” or walking distance of the school, as opposed to eligible riders who live outside designated walk limits.

The fee would be reviewed annually and parents would be advised as part of the annual registration process.

Hyer said the proposed changes are supported by feedback from parents.

An independent transportation study was completed in February 2019, out of which came three recommendations which were subject to a public consultation process.

The revised transportation policy has been forwarded to partner groups for feedback until Jan. 31, 2020, and will be the subject of three public consultation session beginning Jan. 8, 2020, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Summerland Secondary. A second session takes place Jan. 22, 2020 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Princess Margaret Secondary and a third consultation is scheduled for Jan. 29  from 7 to 8 p.m. at the IMC building located at 425 Jermyn Ave. in Penticton.

In study, more than 60 per cent of those who responded believed courtesy riders should pay more than eligible riders, with more than 45 per cent saying they would be willing to pay $20 per month for busing.

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