Just like the wheels on the bus, the season for bus route registration goes around – and has returned to the West Shore.
Parents and guardians of Sooke School District 62 students can register online April 12 at 9 a.m., and are encouraged to be hasty – the district has to fit 4,000 students into about 30 buses – and once a route is full, students can’t be moved to another.
“It is a huge amount of students who take the bus and we don’t have a lot of buses,” said Lindsay Vogan, SD62 public relations and community engagement specialist. “That’s why we encourage parents to sign up as soon as registration opens, because once the bus route is full, we’ll try to find another route similar…but it’s not going to be the optimal route.”
During registration, parents and guardians will provide an address but will not be able to select a route – that’s because the district may modify the routes based on where students need to be picked up.
“If we know that suddenly we have way more registrations for say, somewhere like West Hills, than we did before, then we know we need to change the routes around a bit to try to accommodate for some of those kids,” Vogan said. “It is a complicated process…but last year it worked quite well.”
— School District #62 (@SD62_Sooke) April 6, 2019
Vogan said SD62’s transportation department starts working on the routes right away.
“Our goal is to get the information back to parents by the end of [this] school year, so they can go into September knowing what time and what stop and what bus their child is going to be on,” she said.
While all students must be registered, only middle and secondary school students require passes, which will be handed out during the first week of school in September.
Vogan said one of the most frequent questions from parents are about children who live in two different homes. She says parents should register for one home and contact the district’s transportation department by emailing email@example.com, about a second location.
Vogan also reminds parents that as per Transport Canada rules, large band instruments or hockey bags cannot be taken on the bus, and students from kindergarten to Grade 3 must be met by a parent or guardian at their stop.
Additionally, students outside of their school’s catchment are not guaranteed busing.
For information on registration and frequently asked questions, visit sd62.bc.ca.