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No ‘appreciable’ shortage of school bus drivers in the Kingston, Ont., region

Click to play video: 'No appreciable shortage of school bus drivers in the Kingston region' No appreciable shortage of school bus drivers in the Kingston region
WATCH: A handful of school bus cancellations has some people concerned about a possible shortage of bus driver in Kingston region. – Sep 22, 2020

A handful of school bus cancellations over the past couple of days in the Kingston region has some people worried about a possible shortage of bus drivers.

On Tuesday, Global News asked Gord Taylor, the head of Tri-Board Student Transportation Services, about that.

Read more: Kingston parents worry school busing precautions might not be enough

Taylor says there is no appreciable shortage, noting some of their drivers didn’t return this fall. They considered themselves or their families vulnerable to COVID-19, so they choose not to return.

He says that put the school bus service in a bit of a shortage to begin with.

Click to play video: '40 Peterborough-area school bus routes cancelled for the week due to driver shortage' 40 Peterborough-area school bus routes cancelled for the week due to driver shortage
40 Peterborough-area school bus routes cancelled for the week due to driver shortage – Sep 16, 2020

“Now if a driver books off for any reason, whether it’s a death in the family, a doctor’s appointment, a medical appointment, not feeling well or might have one of the symptoms that’s alined with COVID, they need to be tested,” Taylor said.

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That, he explained, will cause a driver to be away for the duration of the test and when it returns negative, he or she can return to school if that’s it.

It’s not a big part of the situation, Taylor said, just “normal book-offs.”

Taylor says the service operates 620 routes across the Tri-Board for the three school boards and even a handful of cancelled routes is unusual but it is a very small number of the 30,000 riders that are affected.

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