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Hamilton’s school bus service says driver shortage is causing delays on first day back to class – Hamilton

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, nearly 40 delays were reported on a bus service carrying nearly 30,000 students back to Hamilton.

Hamilton Wentworth Student Transport Services (HWSTS) revealed there were 44 delays at 8am on September 6, with a Bishop Tonnos route up to 40 minutes late.

The delays come as the province faces an ongoing driver shortage that continues to plague several school districts across Ontario.

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On Friday, HWSTS warned parents and guardians of some delays on the 473 routes it covers, but insisted the schedule should be better than years past.

Dawn Danko, chair of the Hamilton Wentworth Regional School Board, said Hello Hamilton at 900 CHML On Tuesday, the service was short by about 25 drivers, excluding available spares.

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There are also drivers getting used to the new route, which could lead to delays, she added.

“Students and families should be prepared for possible delays as we have new drivers getting used to new routes and there are always things to learn there,” Danko said.

Last September, HWSTS reported a similar number of delays, with 44 at 8 a.m., with up to five routes being 60 minutes late.

The HWDSB board previously opted to reduce the number of routes needed to alleviate the ‘permanent problem’ of driver shortages, a move that included adjusting class times based on recommendations from a study of 2019.

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According to the study data, 37 public schools and 33 Catholic schools have made changes, with HWDSB elementary schools opening daily from 8:10 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and closing from 2:30 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.

Secondary schools open between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and close between 2:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

So families really need to make sure they’ve subscribed to updates whether they’re canceled or delayed,” Danko said.

“We don’t anticipate any cancellations, which is very good news.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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