Alberta aims to shorten school ride times for students

RED DEER — The Alberta government is working with two rural school divisions to come up with ways to improve school bus rides for students.

RED DEER — The Alberta government is working with two rural school divisions to come up with ways to improve school bus rides for students.

Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk says adding more routes should shorten the amount of time kids have to spend getting to and from school.

The idea is to avoid “milk runs” which see students having to spend the whole time on a bus as it stops at every single house on a route, he said.

The idea will be tested in the Golden Hills School Division, which includes Three Hills, Drumheller and Strathmore.

“Kids are spending on buses up to two hours one way, so when you have a child showing up at school at 8:30 in the morning, that child has been on a bus since 6:30 in the morning,” Lukaszuk said Friday as he announcement the project in Red Deer, Alta.

“That kid is tired. He’s not ready to learn in the classroom, so we will replan the transportation patterns and look at different fleets of buses to make the time shorter for the child.”

The government is also equipping about 30 buses in the Medicine Hat area, which is part of the Prairie Rose School Division, with Wi-Fi to enable students whose rides are more than an hour long to do their homework on the bus.

“Imagine if a child can, as they’re sitting on the bus for two hours, get their homework done and by Internet file it onto the school server, as many kids already do from home. So when he gets home and mom says, ’What do you have for homework?’ he can say, ’I’ve already done it on the bus.”’

Lukaszuk says the projects will be assessed at the end of the school year in June and, if successful, will be expanded to other school divisions.

The cost for adding routes in the Golden Hills division is estimated at $350,000. The Wi-Fi upgrade is pegged at $210,000.

The projects are part of the government’s 10-point plan for improving education. (CHUB, CKGY)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Innisfail RCMP arrest man following ‘lengthy pursuit’

Innisfail RCMP say a “lengthy pursuit” through a rural area ended with… Continue reading

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan speaks in the Alberta Legislature on Wednesday in this image from his Facebook page.
Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan sounds off on socialism in anti-lockdown speech

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan has applauded his government’s COVID-19 response, saying… Continue reading

(Photo by Paul Cowley/ Advocate Staff)
Mask bylaws not popular in rural areas

Red Deer and Blackfalds bylaws requiring masks in public places kick in on Monday

A GoFundMe campaign to support a Stettler couple following a fire has raised more than $3,000. (Contributed photo)
Family pet dies in Stettler fire

GoFundMe page has raised more than $3K so far

Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah Mitchell (15) is tackled by Coastal Carolina linebacker Enock Makonzo (43) and safety Cameron Mitchell (49) during the first half of an NCAA football game in Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. It's already been a season to remember but Canadian Enock Makonzo and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will chase two more firsts Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Kieu
Canadian Enock Makonzo, Chanticleers chase Sun Belt East regular-season crown

Canadian Enock Makonzo, Chanticleers chase Sun Belt East regular-season crown

Atlanta United's Mo Adams, right, challenges Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo during first half MLS soccer action in East Hartford, Conn., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo says he finished the season with an injured leg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jessica Hill
Toronto FC ready to refocus on future as long, hard season comes to an end

Toronto FC ready to refocus on future as long, hard season comes to an end

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart speak to the media during a visit to the Molson Overdose Prevention Site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Thursday, January 16, 2020. City councillors in Vancouver voted unanimously this week to ask federal officials for an exemption to Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, a decision advocates hope will blaze a trail for the decriminalization of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use in other municipalities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Advocates aim to shape ‘Vancouver model’ for drug decriminalization

Advocates aim to shape ‘Vancouver model’ for drug decriminalization

Senator Murray Sinclair appears before the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples in Ottawa, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Sinclair is planning to leave the Senate early next year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Sen. Murray Sinclair, former head of TRC, set to leave the upper chamber next January

Sen. Murray Sinclair, former head of TRC, set to leave the upper chamber next January

Carolina De La Torre, right, owner of Arepas Ranch in Calgary, poses for a photo with her husband in this undated handout photo. The Venezuelan woman who believes she was used as part of Jason Kenney's argument not to lockdown restaurants in the province remembers her encounter with the premier as a lot less dramatic than he suggested. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Carolina De La Torre *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘No crying’: Venezuelan refugee Kenney cited says interaction was less dramatic

‘No crying’: Venezuelan refugee Kenney cited says interaction was less dramatic

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question from a reporter during a bi-weekly news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

This photo released by the semi-official Fars News Agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist that Israel alleged led the Islamic Republic's military nuclear program until its disbanding in the early 2000s was “assassinated” Friday, state television said. (Fars News Agency via AP)
Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed

Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed

FILE - This Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 file photo shows Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio as Pope Francis, right, arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The longtime head of the Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn said Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, that a ruling by the Supreme Court that barred New York from enforcing certain restrictions on religious services in areas hit hard by the coronavirus is a “good decision” that guarantees constitutional protections for the free exercise of religion. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool, File)
Brooklyn bishop hails ruling, says diocese in line with pope

Brooklyn bishop hails ruling, says diocese in line with pope

Most Read