Transportation report once again positive for Catholic Division

Students board a school bus outside St. Catherine Catholic School in Prince Albert following their first day of school. -- Herald file photo.

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division board of education received an updated on the division’s transportation services during the board’s regular meeting on Monday.

The Bus Contractor Review and Statistics report is a periodic review of First Student compliance with their internal processes and policies along with pertinent statistics. Director of Education Lorel Trumier said the division has a fine relationship with their transportation provider First Student.

“Once again First Student has done a great job ensuring safety is the priority here for students,” Trumier said. “It’s always nice to get a clean report from that audit in terms of documentation of the statistics that we review.”

Chief Financial Officer Greg McEwen gave the report at Monday’s meeting. It featured data from Sept. 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024.

Trumier said that First Students does a lot of work to maintain such a great record of compliance.

“They did a great job, and they’ve continued to do a good job,” she said. “They are changing with the times as well, because we know that they track their buses and their monitoring speeds, and stops at corners and those kinds of things.”

As of 2024, the age of the average bus is 12-years-old. Around 1,300 students were transported. There were no routes cancelled due to mechanical issues, two route cancelled due to weather, three routes cancelled due to having no driver available and two routes cancelled for unspecified reasons.

The inspection documentation portion shows that there are currently 30 drivers and no spare drivers. First Student currently operates 34 vehicles in the division.

The compliance report concludes that there is nothing to indicate that First Student is not compliant with their training and inspection process.

The average capacity of buses utilized is 72 per cent. The average one-way bus ride is 30 minutes and the longest one-way bus ride is 90 minutes. There was one accident reported in the time period.

The report is compiled in consultation with the local First Student manager.