When the Mercury dips as low as it has over the last few days, things don't always seem to work right. School buses are no exception. Whether it is from mechanical failure or the unwillingness to have children wait outside in such frigid temperatures, sometimes the buses just don't run.
Andy Dobson is Manager of Facilities and Transportation for the South East Cornerstone Public School Division, explained what conditions have to be met for a bus route to be canceled.
"There are several factors we do have an administrative procedure on our website, administrative procedure 132 which is bus service cancelation. So some of the factors are severe cold obviously, minus 40 degrees ambient temperature which we are experiencing in the Weyburn area right now," he said.
"The other is the consideration of the weather forecast for the day, visibility be it fog or ice fog, blizzard or whiteout conditions and the road conditions can also play a factor, whether icy conditions or even what we experience in some of our urban centers, Weyburn, and Estevan if we have a good storm buses get stuck on the street and things like that so we will cancel those routes," he continued.
"Sometimes we have mechanical issues where the buses won't start, and another one more in the rural settings is lack of spare drivers so those are some reasons why bus service may be canceled," he added.
There are a few ways the school division informs the public about it and when a route is canceled.
"We look at the weather for the day, then we make the call at 630 in the morning," Dobson explained. "If we have to cancel routes that immediately goes up on the website and then we do let the radio stations know."
"I just want to remind parents they should have a backup plan and make sure their children know that the bus may or may not run that day, we would hate to see children waiting for the bus and it doesn't show up, then they go home and the parents are gone and the doors are locked so there should be a back up plan for parents in case the bus doesn't run," he said.
If you're ever unsure if your bus route has been canceled for the day you can find that information on the South East Cornerstone website.