Rolland Montgomery cornered the Premier who was in Brighton to announce the construction of a new school.A spokesperson for the premier did not want to go on record with a comment.
Independent operators across the province are in the midst of battle, fighting a provincial government plan that will force them to compete against multi-national firms by bidding for school bus routes.
Operators like Montgomery say if the province pushes through with the plan, they will be picking up welfare cheques and not students.
But Montgomery appeared optimistic following the impromptu session.
“The Premiere (sic) assured me that a special assistant will get back to us as he doesn’t want to see the small school bus operators in the province going out of business,” said Montgomery. “It seems like he [Premiere McGuinty] wants to support us locally, and we need to be supported.”
Later in the article, it refers to the Wellington-Dufferin consortia, where a mom-and-pop school bus company lost 10 of its routes in a pilot RFP process there. The concern is this move to consortia-based RFPs will result in only large domestic and U.S.-based (the article quotes Montgomery saying "offshore") companies getting contracts.
This has been discussed in previous posts, including the one directly below this one.
A thought that frequently comes to mind when discussing school transportation is the ultimate option: no transportation. There are a number of first-world countries around the world where getting the student to school is the family's responsibility, not the school's. I had an exchange experience in Switzerland in 1993 where that was the case-- as a student in the Swiss 'école superieure' I was responsible for finding my own way to school and home every day.
Just a thought, not an ultimate suggestion.