Yellowknife’s three school boards have again urged anyone interested in becoming a bus driver to come forward as they try to solve a growing transit crisis.
Three drivers have left school bus operator First Transit in recent weeks, meaning three of the city’s 15 routes – buses nine, 10 and 12 – are without service indefinitely.
First Transit’s Yellowknife manager says people who want the part-time work are hard to find and pay cannot be increased under the terms of its five-year contract with the schools.
On Wednesday, YK1, Yellowknife Catholic Schools and the Commission scolaire francophone issued a joint statement acknowledging that First Transit faces “significant workforce challenges, not unlike other industries in the Northwest Territories and nationally.”
More: A Yellowknife school bus driver told us why they quit
The school districts said they “understand that recent disruptions to student busing services in Yellowknife are impacting many of our families” – and asked for anyone who can drive a bus to apply. (You can call First Transit at 867-873-4693 or email the company to do so.)
“All three school boards and First Transit have made this issue their priority and will continue to work collaboratively until a solution is found,” the schools stated.
“All parties have met on multiple occasions to discuss potential options, including those put forward by parents and community members. All possible options are being investigated to accommodate families during these disruptions.
“We recognize that this is an urgent situation that requires our immediate attention. YK1, YCS and CSFTNO will continue to work diligently and collaboratively with First Transit until short-term and long-term solutions are found, and we will inform you of those solutions as soon as possible.”