School bus firms threaten Ottawa pullout

The two largest school bus companies in Ottawa are threatening to pull their services starting next September, unless their rates are sharply increased.

First Student Canada and Stock Transportation, which run most of the buses for Ottawa's English school boards, as well as the Upper Canada school district, say the 2% increase they're being offered isn't enough.

They're demanding as much as 12% more, citing higher fuel prices and minimum wage, and tougher environmental rules for buses.

The two firms, both foreign-owned, say they have a duty to their investors to provide a reasonable return on their investment -- something they say hasn't happened in eastern Ontario in many years.

Officials at the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority, which represents the large Ottawa school boards, say it's too early to tell what will happen next September.


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