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Ottawa bus authority holds public consultations

Proposed changes for school bell times means changes are in the horizon for yellow school bus service.

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority, or OSTA, is holding public consultations over the next few weeks in order to speak to parents about what that means for them.

Vicky Kyriaco, the general manager and chief administrative officer of OSTA told CFRA they want to use the bell changes to make their service more efficient.

"By setting up a standard for our bell times, at 8 o'clock, 8:30 and then 9:15., we're able to use the same buses over and over and since the cost is kind of limited to the single bus, the more often we can use it within the time period, the fewer the costs acrue, so we are trying to reduce the number of buses that we use and still provide the same level of services," said Kyriaco.

She said the changes also mean new walk zone boundaries and they want to hear what parents have to say about the issue.

"We have harmonized our policies between our two English school boards, we've got the same distance measurements now and we have created some new walk zone boundaries," she said. "Within those walk zones, though, sometimes there are some hazards, so we've conducted a system-wide assessment of 180 sites for walking hazards and we're looking for feedback from the public."

Some of those includes buses stopping on a four lane highway, or intersections were there are a high number of collions between vehicles and pedestrians.

OSTA is holding the public ocnsultations between April and June.

Click here for a schedule of the meetings.

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