COMMUNITY NOTES: from the desk of Councillor Gower

Another week has passed quickly and it’s time for another update from Councillor Gower. This week the Councillor shares information about the current school bus shortage and actions being taken by OSTA management, MPP Goldie Ghamari, and school trustees Lynn Scott and Scott Phelan to find a solution. Importantly, there is a shortage of school bus drivers. If you know someone who may be interested in applying to be a driver, Councillor Gower has provided a link below to do so. The City released the Long Range Financial Plan for transit this past week and the Councillor will elaborate more on this next week. To celebrate Seniors’ Day, the Councillor is hosting a ‘Tea’ – further details are below. He shares about this past week’s Transit meeting and more topics.

School bus shortages
Over the past week or so I’ve had the opportunity to talk to OSTA management, MPP Goldie Ghamari, and school trustees Lynn Scott and Scott Phelan. We’re all looking for ways to help find transportation for thousands of students in Ottawa. At this point we need to be focused on working together to find a solution, rather than where to lay blame.

The crux of the problem is the driver shortage. OSTA needs to fill 130 driver positions. If you know someone who is looking for part-time work, send them to for more info.

OSTA is working on a number of short-term solutions, including:

  • Private coach buses for high school students
  • Re-designing routes to combine/lengthen routes
  • Reassigning students to another route at a stop further from home
  • Using ParaTranspo for wheelchair service
  • Reassigning students to OC Transpo
  • Reassigning students to vans

As Chair of the Transit Commission, I’ve also asked OC Transpo staff to provide any assistance they can. OC Transpo has 76 city buses dedicated to school routes (grades 7-12), and 20,000 students in the Public and Catholic boards have PRESTO bus passes from OSTA.

This school bus shortage means there are many more parents driving to school every day. I’m really concerned about safety and congestion and we have been working with the City’s traffic staff, Ottawa By-law, and Ottawa Police to look for solutions to help.

If you’re driving to a school, please help ease the congestion if you can by parking a few blocks away and walking the last few blocks. And all residents should try to avoid unnecessary trips through school zones during the drop-off and pick-up times. (We’re compiling a list of school times for all Stittsville schools that we’ll share with residents soon.)

For the latest updates, please visit the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) web site:

A recap of Thursday’s Transit Commission (including why we’re seeing lots of OC bus cancellations)
I’ve shared a summary of last week’s Transit Commission here…


  • Why are buses being cancelled and what is OC Transpo doing about it?
  • O-Train Line 1
  • Ridership numbers up to July 31
  • LRT station cleaning
  • Budget
  • On-demand in Blackburn Hamlet
  • New Para Transpo buses

This week, City staff presented a major update to the city’s Long Range Financial Plan for transit. I’ll share more info about this in next week’s newsletter.

October 1: Councillor Glen’s Seniors Day Tea
Join us at Hazeldean Gardens Retirement Residence on Sunday, October 1, 2023 to celebrate Seniors Day. Drop in and enjoy light refreshments and learn about services for seniors in our community. This drop-in event will run from 2:00pm-4:00pm. No registration required.

Q2 2023: Residential Dwelling Approval Pipeline
This data is on the agenda for Ottawa’s Planning and Housing Committee meeting of September 20. Read more about the report and the numbers here…

Community Funding Capital Funding open for Applications
Capital funding is intended for small capital improvements to city-owned, agency-owned, or long-term leased properties. Funding will be provided in collaboration with social service agencies on a cost-sharing basis. Funding must be matched (at least 50%) by the agency or another funder. The 2023 Capital Funding will be prioritizing projects which address the needs of food security. More info…

Get in touch!
If we can help in any way, please email me at or leave a voicemail at 613-580-2476. Please call 3-1-1 if you require immediate assistance. – Councillor Glen Gower



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