Spike in bus cancelations because of COVID-19 not a surprise in Saskatchewan Rivers

The board of the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division received a revised quarterly Transportation Accountability Report at their regular meeting on Monday, May 4. Unsurprisingly the COVID-19 pandemic cancelation of school showed a huge jump in canceled rides.

The report showed a spike where there were 2,250 canceled routes categorized as other in the report which had data to April 15.

“It was completely anticipated and other than that there wasn’t anything really substantial with that report,” Saskatchewan Rivers director of Education Robert Bratvold said.

The rest of the report showed why accountability reports like this one are important.

“We also know that, we monitor our ride times and the average ones are fairly consistent and even the longest ones are outliers, they are exceptional cases most of them are much closer to the average it is a concern for some of those things you have to monitor,” Bratvold said.

The average urban one-way ride in the division is 16 minutes and has been consistent through all three quarterly reports. The average rural one-way bus ride is 26 minutes and was also consistent. The report also included longest rides in both urban and rural. The longest one-way bus ride in rural was consistent at 90 minutes and in urban was consistent at 55 minutes.

The report noted that the effects of COVID-19 are still not fully known but may make employee retention difficult.

The number of cancellations in the division was 2,358 days after the total for the previous two quarter was just over 202 days total. After removing the COVID-related spike in numbers the days lost is only 310, which is better than the previous year’s report of 400 cancellation days.