Alberta’s government is beginning work to improve K-12 student transportation based on recommendations from an MLA-led task force.
“We have a good transportation system that moves students safely to and from school every day, but we know it can be even safer and more cost-effective. Based on the valuable work of the Student Transportation Task Force, we have a plan to move us forward to make improvements and strengthen the system. This work starts right now.”
Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
“Everyone on Alberta’s roads deserves to get where they need to go – and back – safely and efficiently. We will be taking the recommendations from the MLA-led task force seriously. Thank you to the members of the Student Transportation Task Force for your hard work and engagement in preparing this report.”
Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Municipal Affairs
The first phase of the K-12 student transportation action plan begins immediately. Two audit teams will review the student transportation operations of up to 15 school divisions by fall. A joint working group of provincial government and task force members will also be established to further discuss student transportation issues, including concerns with the Mandatory Entry Level Training Program and school bus flybys.
The second phase, to begin by September, includes work to enhance regional cooperation among school divisions. It will also examine a provincial purchasing program for buses, fuel, insurance and parts.
As part of the third phase, Alberta’s government will complete a new student transportation-funding model to be used during the 2022-23 or 2023-24 school year. This work will be completed by September 2022.
The Student Transportation Task Force was created in 2020 to review student transportation across the province. Alberta’s government held 74 meetings with school authorities and other stakeholders and heard from Albertans through written submissions, emails, surveys and meetings. The task force provided its recommendations to government in late 2020 in a report to the Minister of Education.
“I was incredibly honoured to be the chair of this task force. I hope that the recommendations we have put forward will provide foundational change across Alberta’s student transportation system for years to come.”
Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East, and chair, student transportation task force
“As a member of the task force, I appreciate the Education Ministry’s efforts to encourage collaboration, and their commitment to considering the recommendations of the task force to ensure the safe and efficient transportation of students. Thanks to Alberta’s Education Minister and all who were involved in creating an open, effective and transparent review process. I wish to renew ASBOA’s commitment to working with the department and other stakeholders to implement the recommendations.”
Dexter Durfey, president, Association of School Business Officials of Alberta
- Student transportation funding continues to support a safe transportation system for more than 300,000 K-12 students across Alberta.
- School buses in Alberta travel an estimated 450,000 kilometres a day.
- A school bus flyby is when a motorist passes a stopped bus that has its flashing lights on or its stop arm extended.
- Currently, 43 of 61 school boards in the province (70 per cent) have entered into a cooperative transportation agreement to provide transportation services with a neighbouring board.
- Provincial funding for K-12 student transportation in the 2021-22 school year will be $310 million.
- Provincial investment in K-12 student transportation is more than $1.6 million per school day.