School bus delays frustrate parent of special needs child
Hilary Caton, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, November 13, 2017 6:30PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 13, 2017 6:35PM EST
Getting to school on time has become a challenge for Grade 10 student Fardin Rohan.
Like most students Rohan takes the bus to school, but for the past month the bus that is supposed to pick him up has been anywhere between 30 minutes to two hours late.
On days like today, the bus didn’t pick him up at all.
“They are forgetting about me,” Rohan told CTV News Toronto.
The Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute student has special needs and relies on the school bus to get him to school on time. However, the irregularity of the school bus pick-up has caused Rohan to frequently miss his first class of the day.
“It makes me feel kind of angry,” said Abdul Momen, Rohan’s father, who has to drop his son at schoolwhen the bus doesn’t come.
Momen is worried that the delays are affecting his son’s ability to learn.
“Once his routine is interrupted his whole day he will be upset, not behaving properly, not talking to everybody as he should and we don’t want that,” said Momen.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) says it partly blames a shortage of replacement drivers for times when permanent drivers aren’t available atcontractor Stock Transportation. The school board has already taken away two routes from the company due to the lack of drivers.
“This year they are struggling, it seems they have a full complement of drivers in their training program, but just as many drivers coming into the system are leaving it,” said Kevin Hodgkinson, the general manager of Toronto Student Transportation.
“So it’s a slow process making sure they have a sufficient number of drivers on those routes.”
Hodgkinson said the board is working with Stock Transportation to minimize this type of delay.
“We may not be able to control the delay but we should be able to communicate the delay better with the families and the school, so everyone is aware of what’s going on,” said Hodgkinson.
“That way students like Fardin Rohan won’t wait two hours for a bus that may not show up.”