Fredericton — With the ASD West schools kept open during the last storm in Fredericton, numerous complaints were received that the school buses were out before the plows, and that it was not safe for the children.
The Government of New Brunswick, in partnership with the City of Fredericton, has come out with the cost-saving measure of adding plow attachments to the buses — this stacking of functions will save money and ensure the roads are cleared before school.
“We already send the buses out regardless of weather, so this will just make it safer for everyone, ensuring the buses can always run, and that the roads are cleared for our students to go learn,” said Jennifer Read, Anglophone West School District Director of Communications.
“Parents will be happy that they no longer need to entertain their kids during snow days, so that they can be more productive at work,” she added, “and the children will add some weight to the plow, which will simplify the clearing of snow.”
Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers said that such partnerships between different levels of government are imperative to building a strong relationship with the province. She hopes that it is just a sign of more things to come.
“I’ve been wanting to get francophone and anglophone kids on the same bus for years, and this is the next best thing!” she exclaimed. “We can save the cost of several plows by putting this program in place.”
Premier Blaine Higgs reported that he was happy to be able to save costs to help pay down debt, but he was disappointed that no services needed to be cut with the solution. “I guess you can’t win ’em all,” he said with a shrug.
Buses will be fitted with plow attachments in the coming week, hopefully in time for the next snowstorm.