Two weeks before the start of the 2013-2014 school year, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has released a long-awaited review of its school transportation system.
In December, government commissioned Deloitte to conduct an independent review.
Education Minister Clyde Jackman said while the Deloitte report has good advice for improving the service — there won't be any major changes to policies or procedures this year.
"We entered into this process intent on finding ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our student transportation system, ensuring safety would always be the top priority," Jackman said.
"We will now form an advisory committee to fully examine the considerations presented in the report and to map out a course of action."
The 300-page report points out that in 2012, 47,539 students were transported seven million kilometres. It also presented a number of considerations across a wide range of busing-related topics, including the effective use of available technology; service delivery models (board-owned and contracted busing) and school busing eligibility zones.
Deloitte did not recommend a change to the 1.6 kilometre busing eligibility rule at this time, noting the distance is consistent with or better than eligibility zones in most Canadian jurisdictions.
The only exception is Labrador where all students are eligible for busing.