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Student bus fees going up for Edmonton Catholic students

WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton Catholic Schools are the latest to boost the fees, but, as Eric Szeto reports, other districts will soon, or are considering it.

EDMONTON — Students will be paying more to take the bus to and from school. In March, the provincial government announced a 1.4 per cent reduction in student transportation funding for 2015 -2016.

The Edmonton School Board of Trustees is recommending a $2 monthly increase for elementary bus passes and a $3 monthly increase for junior and senior high school bus passes.

“Any loss in funding is a real concern because it will directly affect students and families,” says Lori Nagy with Edmonton Catholic Schools.

“In this case, we are directly transferring that load onto the families because there is really no other place we could get funding from.”

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Bus pass fees for 2015-2016 will be as follows:

Bus Passes2014 – 20152015 – 2016
Elementary$30.00 per month        $32.00 per month
Junior / Senior High$47.00 per month        $50.00 per month
KindergartenFree to designated schoolsFree to designated schools

 

The board says the number of students accessing yellow bus service has increased by 25 per cent over the last five years, from 7,665 students in 2010-11 to 9,547 students in 2014-2015.

During that time, 36 yellow buses have been added to accommodate the increase in ridership. The trustees expect this need to continue for the 2015-16 school year.

“A further reduction of 1.4 per cent to transportation budget and a drop in enrolment in our rural areas means we could climb as high as a $425,000 deficit,” says Mark Francis, superintendent  of the Aspen View Public School Division.

The provincial budget also froze the number of students eligible for transportation funding at the 2014-2015 level.

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