Published February 27, 2017
The only thing we at TB talk more about than safe busing is the weather. It plays a large role in the safe transport of precious cargo, which is our mandate. In the 2016-2017 school year, TB had 9 partial or full “Snow Days,” 4 of which landed on consecutive Tuesdays at the beginning of January, causing #TriBoardTuesdays to become a meme in our online community:
While we did make light of the weekly weather, the process for calling a "Snow Day" is taken very seriously by all involved. As TB's bus operators and drivers are in the business of safely transporting children, we are always on the lookout for what could prevent this safe travel. Winter weather is of course, one of the biggest impedements for our drivers and so we watch radar and weather forecasts daily in the winter months. When it looks like snow or freezing rain may be coming the next day in our service area, our management team plans for an early rise to assess the safeness of all bus routes.
That rising time is usually 4:00am, well before the earliest bus starts its route. At that time, we are in talks with our Weather Captains -operators who go out of their way to connect to local bus drivers and municipal road crews to get the scoop on road conditions and even drive the roads themselves.
Tri-Board serves a large area and weather does not behave the same throughout it. So, our Weather Captains are divided into ten geographic zones: North Hastings, Centre Hastings, Belleville & Quinte West, North Lennox & Addington, Central Lennox & Addington, South Lennox & Addington, North & Central Frontenac, South Frontenac, and Kingston & Frontenac Islands.
Most of our buses service multiple schools so buses are cancelled based on the zones they travel through, not just the zone the school they travel to is in. A Snow Day may be called for one zone and not another. Weather Captains are aware of what routes travel through their zones.
We collect information from all our Weather Captains by 5:15am and carefully assess the safety risks associated with transporting children throughout each zone in poor conditions. Our CEO then provides a recommendation to the affected schoolboard as to whether the buses should run or not prior to 6:00am. The Director of Education can insist the buses run despite the recommendation not to. The Director also determines if schools remain open when buses do not run.
If a bus runs in the morning, it must run in the afternoon to ensure children do not get stranded at school. Therefore, we sometimes recommend buses do not run for the day due to pending or forecasted weather for the afternoon. These days can be difficult to call and are often met with frustration from the public. By the afternoon, the reasoning behind our decision usually becomes quite clear. In 30 years, there has been one call on record for weather that never came.
We know Snow Days can be difficult for parents to navigate, not just due to the weather but also the scheduling conflicts that arise. We do not make these decisions lightly. We make them with the lives of over 30,000 passengers in mind. If we cannot transport children safely, we won't do it at all.
Published October 27, 2015
IS MY BUS CANCELLED OR DELAYED TODAY?
Buses may be delayed or cancelled for a number of reasons such as mechanical problems or inclement weather. Delays or cancellations are posted on the website www.triboard.ca These delays and cancellations may be viewed by parents/guardians or school administration by going to our website and clicking on our Cancellations & Delays icon.
You may sign up for direct notification of delays and cancellations by going to our Delays and Cancellations tab near the top of our webpage. There is also other pertinent information regarding delays and cancellations for parents/guardians at this location including a listing of local radio stations that will air cancellations and delays.
Snow, Ice, Etc. - It is a consensus that Tri-Board Student Transportation Services Inc. staff, after consultation with Bus Operators, are in the best position to determine whether or not buses should run. Bus routes cancelled due to inclement weather are cancelled for the whole day. Since Tri-Board covers such a vast area, we rely on the input from our Bus Operators to provide information on road conditions. Environment Canada and other pertinent weather sites are also monitored for updated weather information.
Fog – Buses that do not travel a route in the morning due to heavy fog, and the fog clears during the day, the bus will pick the students up at the school in the afternoon for the return journey. In the event that the fog does not lift during the day, a decision to cancel afternoon runs will be made by 12:00 p.m. with schools being notified of the decision at that time. Parents/guardians will be responsible for the return transportation for any students dropped off at school.
All schools in Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, Limestone District School Board, Sir James Whitney School and Whitney Public School will remain open in the event of full bus cancellations unless otherwise determined by the Director(s) of Education.
In the event of a full or partial cancellation, all radio stations will be notified so that announcements may made after 6:00 a.m.
Should a full bus cancellation be in effect for all the Tri-Board area a pop up message indicating a full cancellation will be placed on our website.
Drivers, please remember to watch out for our kids. When the lights are flashing please, Stop for the Bus!