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Sunday , 22 May 2022

NLPS Bus Route 68 has been suspended

The Northern Lights Schools Board (NLPS) announced today that a regular bus route has been suspended.

For the past couple of years, NLPS has been experiencing a shortage of bus drivers in the Lakeland. Last year, they had more route cancellations than normal due to the lack of spare drivers available to fill in for drivers when they were sick or unable to do their routes. This year, the shortage is even worse.

Today, NLPS announced in an email to parents that Bus Route 68 has been suspended. Route 68 is the only Bonnyville in-town bus for NLPS schools. It provides service for kids to and from all three Bonnyville public schools.

“Bus Route 68 has been suspended from service effective February 22, 2022, due to a lack of Bus Drivers in our region. We will contact families if and when the route is reinstated,” NLPS stated in an email to parents. We will evaluate bus fee refunds in March 2022 should service not be reinstated.”

In a previous statement, NLPS communications told Lakeland Connect, “Some of our contractors did not return this year and one contractor gave notice to end their routes in September. We have consolidated many routes in all of our communities, packing more kids onto buses and lengthening ride times to ensure we can transport as many students to school as possible.”

NLPS told Lakeland Connect previously, “They have one route that has been without a contractor/driver since early October.”

“We no longer have a driver for that route and there is no substitute driver available,” NLPS Communications said on Feb 22. “We are looking for another driver, but with the difficulties that we have been experiencing this year with recruiting and retaining drivers, it may take awhile for us to find someone.”

Now another bus route is without a driver according to the email sent to parents forcing the cancelation of the route.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause,” NLPS stated. “If you know anyone who may be interested in a career in student transportation, please contact our Transportation Department at 780-826-6038.”

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.