Victoria: Families throughout the province will soon benefit from improved transportation services in their communities, thanks to $14.7 million in funding under the new provincial Student Transportation Fund.
All 60 school districts will use the funds to improve transportation services, for example, some districts will:
- Eliminate bus fees.
- Add new bus routes.
- Make safety improvements.
- Provide more transportation safety training for bus drivers and students.
- Increase bus service for students to use for field trips and extracurricular activities.
- Continue to maintain high-level bus service and offer later bus service.
The new $14.7-million Student Transportation Fund was announced in August 2016 to help school districts provide affordable and accessible transportation for B.C. families.
To be eligible for funding, districts had to submit a plan to the Ministry of Education outlining how they would use the funding to enhance transportation services for students and families.
The amount of funding for which a district is eligible is based on a formula tied to the ministry’s student-location factor, which is used to determine the rural makeup of a school district.
All 60 school districts applied for the funding and they were all approved. Districts will start to receive funds over the next month.
As a result of B.C.’s strong economic growth and fiscal discipline, government is able to support and fund projects that make a real difference in the lives of British Columbians.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education said: “As a parent in a rural community, I know first-hand the work involved in getting kids to and from school. The Student Transportation Fund will make transportation more accessible and affordable for students and families and addresses the challenges that districts face – whether it’s the yellow bus program or working with local transit operators.”
The Student Transportation Fund builds on government’s recent investments to further strengthen B.C.’s education system and support student learning, including:
- $25 million of administrative savings returned to school districts to invest in students;
- $2-million Rural Education Enhancement Fund to help keep schools open;
- $28 million to ensure enrolment increases and labour settlements are covered; and,
- $6 million to train teachers on coding and new curriculum and to buy computers.