January 30, 2019 6:24 pm
Updated: January 30, 2019 8:13 pm

No Winnipeg school buses on the roads Thursday

The Canadian Press/Lars Hagberg

As the extreme cold spell continues, students in the seven metro Winnipeg school divisions will have to find a different route to get to class Thursday.

Ted Fransen, Superintendent of Education for Pembina Trails School Division, speaking on behalf of all metro divisions, said Wednesday afternoon that a decision had been made to cancel bus service across the city for the following day.

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That means buses will not be running in Pembina Trails, Seven Oaks, River East Transcona, Louis Riel, St. James-Assiniboia, Winnipeg, and Franco-manitoban (DSFM) school divisions on Jan. 31.

READ MORE: School and other cancellations in southern Manitoba for Wednesday

“The six of us get together every morning when we have anticipated cold weather (via technology of course) … and we closely monitor the Environment Canada wind chill factor and temperature as reported from at The Forks. Today it was -43 at The Forks, and so within our policy, buses continued to run.”

Buses did run Wednesday, but not without incident.

“We evaluated today, how the morning had gone,” Fransen said. “Some of our buses across the city had mechanical issues.”

Schools in several divisions reported buses being well behind schedule in picking students up for school.

“That worries us, we are very very concerned about student safety and that was part of our debriefing today.”

Fransen said they decided to pull bus services for Thursday after noting that temperatures were again expected to be in the ‘cancellation’ range, and given the challenges experienced on Wednesday.

“We made a preemptive decision in anticipation of another day, that if anything, there would be even more challenges with our buses that we just want to keep our kids safe.”

Schools, however, will remain open.

River East Transcona School Division sent out a note via social media advising parents of the pre-emptive cancellation of school bus service.


READ MORE: Canadian prairies colder than North Pole, almost as cold as Mars

When asked if the policy to allow bus service in temperatures as low as -45 would be reconsidered in light of the issues experienced this week, Fransen said they are open to the idea.

“We’re always open to new information,” he said. ‘In terms of ‘will we re-evaluate it?’, if there is new information, we will absolutely re-evaluate it.”

WATCH: Transcona parents say un-plowed streets put school students in danger

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