Getting students to school may be difficult amid the pandemic
WINNIPEG -- Come September, school is expected to be back in session, but for families who use the bus, how kids get to and from class amid the pandemic may be a problem that needs to be solved over the summer.
Stephanie Ruby’s three boys have been enjoying their time off from school, but with the back-to-school season around the corner, Ruby said she is not sure how her boys will get there.
“I don't know if it’ll be 100 per cent bussing or asking parents to do fifty-fifty," she said.
Candace Bouman’s kids also take the bus, but she said she is unsure about the transportation to school.
“I am a little iffy about what's going to happen, but whatever the province tells us about how to get our kids to school, what we need to do, that's what I am going to be listening to,” she said.
Both parents said their alternative to bussing is to drive.
A spokesperson for the Winnipeg School Division told CTV News that physical distancing on busses poses a big concern. They said parents are being asked to plan now for alternate ways to get their children to school.
Active transportation advocates say it’s time Winnipeg makes walking and biking a safer option.
Anders Swanson and Coun. Sherri Rollins came together Tuesday for a call to action regarding children’s transportation in the fall.
“We have very few windows of opportunity and this is one," said Anders Swanson, executive director of the Winnipeg Trails Association.
“We don’t want to lose all the gains we made during the pandemic where the one silver lining was that we had car traffic go down and we had bike and walk-friendly neighbourhoods.”
One idea is to keep and extend the active transportation routes where vehicle traffic is limited to one block.
“Barricades and signage is what indicates you’re sharing the road, that this should be traffic-calmed, that you should be driving a little slower," Rollins said. "If you're a cyclist you should be aware of pedestrians and cars."
Rollins said she supports reducing residential speed limits to 30 km/h. She said the planning needs to start now so families can consider biking or walking in their decision for this upcoming school year.
The Winnipeg School Division said changes in transportation will affect 2,300 out of 33,000 students in the division.
The province is expected to make a decision by Aug. 1 on what school-related pandemic protocols will be put in place.