MOUNT FOREST – The consortium in charge of local school buses has apologized for north Wellington bus cancellations late in the day on Jan. 8.
“All school vehicles in North Wellington (Zone 3) will not be operating this afternoon due to continuing weather issues,” Wellington-Dufferin Student Transportation Services (WDSTS) wrote on Twitter at 3:11pm that day.
“Students that travel on school vehicles will remain at their school. Please contact your child’s school for further information.”
All buses were cancelled in Minto, Mapleton and Wellington North just minutes before school was to be let out, despite reports of inclement weather in the area throughout the day.
“The weather in Wellington north has been garbage all day,” said Twitter user @RVanheeswyk, “Why did they wait until minutes before school let out to cancel?”
Many Facebook users agreed the buses should have been cancelled in the morning or the students sent home early.
“This shouldn’t be allowed,” said Facebook user Ann Baker. “If they pick up the children, they should drop them back at home.”
Others were just happy their children were safe.
“I would much rather the school call me than them venture out making the route in unsafe driving conditions,” said Facebook user Lara Blakeney.
“My child goes on a bus and I think they made a good call today.”
On Jan. 9, WDSTS sent a letter to those impacted by the cancellations.
“(WDSTS) acknowledges and apologizes for the challenges parents/caregivers and students faced yesterday afternoon with the late cancellation of buses in Zone 3,” consortium officials wrote.
The letter notes that during the weather check on the morning of Jan. 8, it was determined buses would be running.
“However, the streamers rolled in later in the morning and became very unpredictable, with times of heavy blowing snow intermixed with periods of sun and clear skies,” consortium officials wrote.
“Everyone continued to monitor the conditions and predictions from various weather sources that seemed to indicate that the weather would be improving (lower winds and no new snow) by the end of the school day.”
However, conditions didn’t improve as the time to let school out approached.
“With most of the vehicles in the area parked at the school bus company lot, it was determined that it was not safe for vehicles to leave the yard to get to schools across Zone 3 on time and to safely deliver students to all stop locations,” officials wrote.
WDSTS officials did not return a request for comment by press time. For information visit stwdsts.ca.