Back to School: 300 Sooke District students on bus wait list

Back to School: 300 Sooke District students on bus wait list

WATCH: With the number of bus registrations higher than expected, 300 students in the Sooke School District have been put on a wait list. Isabelle Raghem explains. 

Three hundred students in the Sooke School District are on a wait list for a bus that will take them to school.

“We did add a significant amount of seats for next year and a significant amount of new routes, however, it looks like we’re exceeding that amount at the moment,” said Sooke School District Superintendent Jim Cambridge.

Cambridge says hundreds of students in the district hoping for a seat won’t be getting one in time to head back to class next week.

“We anticipated 3,200 riders, we’re currently registering 3,500,” Cambridge said.

That means 300 students are currently on a wait list, a number the district’s Superintendent says may change once classes begin.

“Pending who’s left the school district, those who actually won’t be using but maybe registered because there’s no cost and thought it was a good idea,” Cambridge said. “Or many we actually have more riders and we’ll have to add more routes.”

Sooke is the only district in the Capital Region with this problem this school year.

The Saanich School District tells Chek it currently has no wait list. It buses about 1,800 students.

“I don’t expect any transportation problems come next week,” said Dave Eberwein, Saanich School District Superintendent.

The Greater Victoria District doesn’t have a wait list either. It buses fewer than 300 students in the entire catchment.

Sooke says this volume of students was somewhat expected.

“We’re in an incredibly growing community. The whole West Shore and Sooke area has been growing exponentially,” said Cambridge, “We’re just seeing that phenomena continue.”

While the 300 waiting for a seat will have to go without one next week, the Sooke District is confident it will be able to get them on board by the end of September.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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