As we have seen already this winter season, some rural bus routes have been cancelled due to weather conditions, but what goes into the decision to cancel the bus routes?

Larry Paul, the Associate Superintendent of Business and Operations of Rocky View Schools (RVS) talked about how there are two different aspects that would have to be met to cancel the bus routes.

"When it gets below minus 40, typically, it's very difficult for the buses to get started in the morning, even though most of our contractors have a cold weather team that come in and try to get the buses started and warmed," Paul stated. "The other component, of course, is road safety. In a lot of cases, you might get into a negative weather situation, but not the extreme negative, but with the winds that we tend to have here in Rocky View, the drifts can cause unsafe conditions."

When the questions come up if kids are supposed to still attend school even though the bus routes may not be running, Paul mentioned it is up to the parents to decide if they are able to take their own kid to school and if the roads are safe enough. The only time the school will actually be closed for the day is if the roads are too dangerous for even staff to make it to work.

Paul went on to talk about how parents are able to figure out if bus routes are cancelled due to weather events.

"We have a bus app on our website, and you can download it onto your handheld device and that app will update regularly for each bus route and let the parents know if there's something happening with that bus or the other way of getting that information is we do have a messaging system through the parent portal."

Parents are able to sign up for text messaging through that portal and if RVS knows of some weather event that's going to generally affect the school division they will send a message out on that message system.

"The third aspect would be if it has a specific route, often our bus drivers will try to contact the parents and let them know that there's an issue with that route that day."

RVS did see some bus route cancellations over the latest snowstorm.

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