An inside take on the busing issue
School busing is now a hot topic, and the honourable Clyde Jackman is giving the consultant the task of telling us the way to operate the system. Our company carried out the first school busing in this province to check the viability of busing students to a central location.
Since 1946, our company has been involved in public transportation, and we have always considered it an awesome responsibility to have all the children of school age in a small community in one bus.
No stone should be left unturned to develop a system as efficient as humanly possible to deliver students to our schools safely, efficiently and in a pleasant friendly atmosphere. After so many years we take pride in accomplishing this objective without a single mishap.
In the beginning the school bus driver was in charge. Students were made aware to ride a bus to school was a privilege and not a right. The rules were simple: if any student abused that privilege they were given a warning. If there was a second incident they were given a second warning, and if it continued a third time the student was suspended for a period of time from riding the bus. It worked and it was a pleasure to drive our students to school.
The rules have changed; the driver is no longer in charge. The command post is in the department of education, and has all the trappings of a bureaucratic jungle. It looks as if the minister is not open to any suggestions from experienced operators.
The previous minister, the honorable Darin King, was asked by this writer if he was available for a chat. He responded: “No problem, I will get back to you.” He never did.
At the 60th PC convention in Gander the present minister, Clyde Jackman, was asked the same question and he responded, “No problem.” He spared me less than a minute before he rushed off and I never saw him again.
It’s unfortunate if the ministers of the Crown are too busy or too important that they have no time to listen to the legitimate concerns of those who are striving to make things better.
J. G. Noel ( Joe) writes from Carbonear