Parents in Garrison Village are upset over an unexpected change in bus stop locations.Somer Slobodian, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

When students from Garrison Village went back to school this week, an unexpected change in their transportation arrangements left the kids and their parents perplexed.

Several school bus stops in Garrison Village were mysteriously moved and Coun. Maria Mavridis said she was told that an unknown person called Niagara Student Transportation Services and requested the changes.

It’s not known who made the request, but everyone agrees the changes should not have happened.

Mavridis said the old bus stops will be reinstated by the end of next week.

Parent Kristina Shepherd said a representative of Niagara Student Transportation Services told her on Tuesday that the town said it didn’t want buses going through Shepherd’s subdivision.

However, a representative from the town told The Lake Report it never requested such a change. And so the mystery began, apparently.

Shepherd has two kids who have been using the bus stop at Navy Hall Circle and Confederation Drive for two years. 

It’s down the street from their house and a safe, quick stop for the kids to walk to. 

But this week, most – if not all – of the bus stops within Garrison Village were moved to the Garrison Village Drive area up to Village Road, then down Village Road over to Niven Road. 

Now, her two kids, ages six and 10, have to walk three streets over to get to it — some kids even farther.

Shepherd wanted the issue resolved quickly and was concerned that someone surreptitiously arranged for the change.

She sees the bus stop location as a safety concern for the children in the area.  

“My just barely six-year-old shouldn’t have to walk around three corners to catch the bus,” she said.

“I don’t mind my kids walking. It’s not about that at all. It’s about safety and that’s what I will fight for,” she added. 

In fact, on Tuesday afternoon, one driver sped past the stopped school bus in their car, even though the stop sign was out and the lights were flashing.

Shepherd originally posted on the NOTL 4 ALL Facebook group on Tuesday morning with her concerns, along with an email she received from Heather Kyle, manager of operations at Niagara Student Transportation Services, who informed her of what she said were the town’s intentions.

“All bus stops for all schools at both boards were moved, unfortunately,” Kyle wrote.

It turns out that apparently was at the urging of a third party, not the town and not the bus company.

Many parents were confused by the change, said Shepherd, adding that some said school buses have been going through Garrison Village for years. 

“Another family on our street with an older child no longer in school said the bus always picked her up and dropped her off at the end of our street. So why the change now?”

By Somer Slobodian, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Sep 07, 2023 at 09:58

This item reprinted with permission from   The Lake Report   Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
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