Day after day of bus cancellations, Student Transportation record set

Wild weather keeps school buses off the road for four days straight – Near record-setting cold temperatures January 21-22, followed by a snow storm turning into freezing rain January 23-24, resulted in Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario cancelling buses for four days last week. The cancellation of buses led to schedule changes for students at Seaway District High School, who were to begin semester one exams on January 24th. Pictured above, snow is beginning to taper off on January 23rd, looking left on Lakeshore Drive in Morrisburg at the Lakeshore United Church. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

SOUTH DUNDAS – Not since the ice storm of 1998 has this region seen so many consecutive days of school bus cancellations.

Area students ended up with a very extended long weekend when buses were cancelled for four consecutive days last week.

Last Monday morning buses were cancelled due to extreme cold.

At 10:34 p.m. Sunday, January 21, Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario, the consortium which provides busing for both the Upper Canada District School Board and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, announced that buses would be cancelled for Monday due to the extreme cold and high wind chill values.

Monday night parents received a similar notice, announcing that buses would be cancelled Tuesday, again because of the extreme cold and wind chill values which were about minus 35 degrees Celsius.

Tuesday afternoon the extreme cold conditions left the area but overnight into Wednesday morning the area received enough snow to make travel dangerous, which resulted in the third consecutive day of school transportation cancellations.

The snow continued throughout the day Wednesday, accumulating more than 20 centimetres but then turned to ice rain for a significant amount of time. Again, it made for treacherous road conditions, in time for Thursday morning, leading to the fourth consecutive day of cancellations.

“This has been a highly unusual week,” said April Scott-Clarke, interim manager of communications for the UCDSB.

Of the number of cancellations last week, Janet Murray, general manager and CAO for STEO said: “Four consecutive days is certainly the record for the STEO consortium, which came together in 2012 to provide transportation service for both the UCDSB and CDSBEO.

Murray speculated that there may have been more service interruptions during the 1998 ice storm, but STEO does not have records from that time, neither does the UCDSB.

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