Transportation fees by the numbers

Transportation fees is on the CBE public board meeting agenda tonight. Just to provide a little clarity around the numbers:

– The CBE has around 26,000 K-9 students that take a charter bus to school every day. Another 10,000 high school students take Calgary Transit according to the CBE website.

– The CBE subsidizes monthly transit passes for high school students, so that parents who apply and return expired passes will pay $542.50/year, and receive $185 back, for a net cost of $357.50 to the parent (but those students can use those monthly passes for travel other than to and from school).

– Thus, the cost to the CBE (if all parents apply and return their passes) for high school transportation is $1.85 million dollars.

– In the transportation fees report, the CBE states that it will receive $28.893 million dollars from the province for transportation but that they need $35.838 million.

– If we remove the high school transportation costs to the CBE from the above numbers, this translates into a provincial subsidy of $1,040/charter bus student, and the CBE saying that it in fact costs $1,378/bus student, hence the increase in transportation fees to $335/year per student to cover the difference.

– The province says that they provide a subsidy of $538/eligible student, not $1,040. However the number of eligible students is not calculated based on how many actually need to take the bus, but is a formula based on total enrolment and number of schools, luckily for the CBE. I do not think that we want a transportation funding review by the province, although we may want to review why it costs $1,378 to bus each student every year. If anyone has the time to compare our cost per student with other metro boards, please post a comment with your findings.

– The CBE will also start looking at putting Grade 7-9 students on Calgary Transit as it only costs them $185/year rather than $1,378.

– And, because I know this will be asked, I do not know if the CBE could pay parents $1040/student per year to arrange their own carpools, rather than asking parents to pay $335 for bus service. I highly doubt it.

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