Jump to content
dev161

Ottawa School Transportation and Charter Companies

Recommended Posts

dev161   

So it seems that Stock Transportation is rebranding as National , or at least in the Ottawa Region. I find it weird since they decided to operate solely as a Charter Company in the NCR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

I heard that the rebranding will take place all over. But it makes sense since Stock was always owned by National Express (another British Company, like First Student).

This topic is perfect btw, since I work for First Student (Cumberland Branch). And if you aren't aware, all 3 First Student locations are shutting down at the end of June.

Also Stock or National Express (whatever you want to call them) will be getting school routes starting next year. They won some of the First Student routes that OSTA tendered out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dev161   

Makes sense for them to rebrand , I am actually surprise they want to come back into the school run business, Ottawa has quite a bit of competition with Campeau,417,Roxborough,Valley, Rideau , Premier, Snelgrove ( now part of Campeau ) , and Direct just to name a few !! Where do you think you will apply if you decided to continue driving a bus ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MCIBUS   

This seem odd. Stock got out of the School runs in Ottawa because they couldn't agree on cost with the school boards. So I guess Stock or National must of caved in and except a lower payment for doing school contracts?

So is First Studwent leaving the NCR> or are they totally getting out of the school bus runs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

Long time since there's been a post in this topic. But anyway, here's some updates on First Student's shutdown in Ottawa:

Campeau has First Student's 8-hour wheelchair bus routes (2 of which are full size 40' buses, 1 is a small bus). First Student was the only ones to have large wheelchair buses in the Ottawa marketplace prior to this. Right now as these routes are also summer-school routes, Campeau's full size buses have not arrived, so for now they have small wheelchair buses going along with a full size bus until they arrive. Apparently they are going to be Blue Birds, like most of the Campeau fleet.

Campeau also has a new yard on MacFarlane at the computer recycling place.

Voyageur is taking over the First Student West Carleton yard (the one off of Carp Road). That will be their main location. They also took over the First Student yard on Jamie Avenue (which is so far the first Cumberland branch yard to transfer ownerships). So far no one has taken over the First Student Nepean yard on Moodie Drive, and apparently no one is interested in it either. It's interesting though as I think they might still be operating out of that yard since I've heard action on my radio scanner from the First Student Nepean channel. They might be doing what Stock has been doing which is sticking around for charters (I am not able to confirm this though).

As for the other two former Cumberland yards (Trim and Bantree), Trim is being used to store buses now, and I doubt anyone will be buying it other than developers, as the land that yard is sitting on is worth ALOT of money, so they've been trying to shut down that yard for a while now. Bantree is also being used to store buses. Bantree will remain under First Student ownership since Greyhound is owned by First Student, and it's at the Greyhound yard.

Also I hear Campeau is trying to shut down their yard off of Moodie Drive as well (which is immediately north of the First Student yard on Moodie Drive). But for now it will remain active.

The other companies that is taking over First Student's routes, one of them is M.L. Bradley (the inventor of the Child-checkmate system used on First Student's buses), who is opening a new yard in the startop area, because they've won 23 new routes. They don't have enough space at their existing yard in Navan to park all those buses (and most of them are operating in the Startop area). Roxborough moved their buses from Trainyards to the Peterbilt dealership off of Hawthorne near Swansea. Stock (or National) won 10 routes, and I am not entirely sure of their plans. 417 has won 2 conventional 40' school bus routes, the rest are First Student's former wheelchair bus routes.

Interesting enough, Campeau has won the Lansdowne Sports and Entertainment contract for the shuttle buses to Lansdowne from Carleton, Canada Post, and the R.A. Centre. So it seems like Campeau might be heading towards becoming the top company in Ottawa, since that title is up for grabs right now.

In the end though, it's kind of sad that First Student is gone, as they held about 53% of the school routes in Ottawa. Lots of seniority was lost. Our driver at Cumberland with the highest seniority had 40 years with First Student (and obviously their predecessors, Laidlaw, and Capital Coach, or Travelways)

Also next year, a lot of routes have "disappeared" because now most school routes will have 3 schools on their route, instead of just simply 2 schools (or in some cases, 1 school), so that's why not many school routes were awarded in the east end (since OSTA has 5-year contracts with Campeau and Roxborough, so any routes they lose through the additional schools have to be given to them). However First Student had a monopoly in the west end of Ottawa, so that's why Voyageur won 180 routes (which is OSTA's cap for any company).

Here's how the routes were distributed (the new routes that is)
Voyageur - 180
M.L. Bradley - 23
Campeau - 18
Roxborough - 15
Stock/National - 10
417 Bus Lines - 8

This is how it looked before the First Student shut down (which only the First Student routes were up for bid)
First Student - 363
Campeau - 111
Roxborough - 50
M.L. Bradley - 45
Direct Transportation - 37
Premier - 22
Rideau Bus Lines - 17
Snelgrove - 6
Richard Barr - 2
Lalonde, Thompson, DC Bus Lines & Barr - 1/each

All the other contractors except Campeau, Roxborough, Direct (who took over Stock's routes last year with a 5 year contract) and the contractors who won routes from First Student's RFP, will be going up for RFP next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dev161   

I currently work for Campeau , so here is the scoop!!

We ordered IC buses as well as some Bluebird Visions from what I understand. I was also told there is about 110 buses that were purchased but it could be just a rumour.

Our yard which was called Capital is now moved to Mcfarlene as was said above , Moodie Yard located at 1019 moodie will have additions to the current building made including 2 Bays for buses in the building , a large drivers lounge , improved office space , A new Fuel pump as the current one takes up to 5-10 minutes to fill up per bus. There is no change to our Iber rd , and Huntclub yards as of yet.

We currently do operate the shuttle for TD Place , 35 buses at the start and through out the evening an additional 12 buses are added. We have 1 dispatcher and Office Manager on site at Post Canada to supervise the operations , as well as 1 dispatcher onsite at TD Place to assist with the organizers. The only pick up point is Post Canada on riverside. the route to the game is as followed.

Pick up at 87 Baseline stop , loop around the parkade , (L) roadway to Brookfield, ® Brookfield, ® Riverside , (L) Baseline ( take bus only roadway ) , ® Prince of Wales to TD Place Parking # 5.

Campeau Buslines Also purchased Snelgrove of Stitsville the former owners of that company are drivers/work in the office at Startop come September.

Campeau is the Primary operator for operator for the French School board so that is where most of the runs we operate come from, not too sure on if got any more runs in that board but there is a high likelihood .

Campeau also Operates the AfterProm Shuttles every year for all the Highschools in Ottawa and Carleton Place . We do the BeachClub shuttle as well from Ottawa to Beach Club ( located near Montreal ).

In my personal opinion I see Campeau as being the primary School Vehicle operator in eastern Ontario and South western Quebec. We operate school runs as far west as Perth , far east as Hawkesbury , Gatineau and area , Ottawa and Area . We operate full size buses , mini buses and vans. Have contracts with LSE, and Transcollines.

ALSO if Anyone is applying at Campeau to drive a bus , try and request a CAM ( french) run over a C run ( OSTA ) , French runs Pay a lot more , and more chances of doing Charters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

I currently work for Campeau , so here is the scoop!!

Oh nice! Glad to see a fellow Ottawa School Bus Driver is on here :)

We ordered IC buses as well as some Bluebird Visions from what I understand. I was also told there is about 110 buses that were purchased but it could be just a rumour.

Our yard which was called Capital is now moved to Mcfarlene as was said above , Moodie Yard located at 1019 moodie will have additions to the current building made including 2 Bays for buses in the building , a large drivers lounge , improved office space , A new Fuel pump as the current one takes up to 5-10 minutes to fill up per bus. There is no change to our Iber rd , and Huntclub yards as of yet.

Ah ok! Well I guess it's up in the air what type of bus the two large wheelchair buses will be then! I know the two drivers who will be driving those large wheelchair buses (since they're ex-First Student drivers), and I think they'd definitely have a preference towards ICs.

And glad you could shed some light on that rumour for Moodie Yard, as it was one of those large wheelchair bus drivers who told me about it.

We currently do operate the shuttle for TD Place , 35 buses at the start and through out the evening an additional 12 buses are added. We have 1 dispatcher and Office Manager on site at Post Canada to supervise the operations , as well as 1 dispatcher onsite at TD Place to assist with the organizers. The only pick up point is Post Canada on riverside. the route to the game is as followed.

Pick up at 87 Baseline stop , loop around the parkade , (L) roadway to Brookfield, ® Brookfield, ® Riverside , (L) Baseline ( take bus only roadway ) , ® Prince of Wales to TD Place Parking # 5.

I did some Campeau buses entering/exiting Carleton University though during the last redblacks game. As when 417 did it, they were also running shuttles from Carleton. I live right outside of Carleton so it's not like it's too hard for me to see these things.

Campeau Buslines Also purchased Snelgrove of Stitsville the former owners of that company are drivers/work in the office at Startop come September.

Campeau is the Primary operator for operator for the French School board so that is where most of the runs we operate come from, not too sure on if got any more runs in that board but there is a high likelihood .

Campeau also Operates the AfterProm Shuttles every year for all the Highschools in Ottawa and Carleton Place . We do the BeachClub shuttle as well from Ottawa to Beach Club ( located near Montreal ).

I wasn't aware of that Snelgrove purchase! Though unfortunately those routes next year (with the OSTA routes that Snelgrove had) will be going up for RFP. As just because they were purchased by Campeau, doesn't mean they will be safe next year. And most likely Campeau will be gaining french board routes in the west end since I know First Student Nepean and West Carleton both had routes with the french boards. Given that Campeau was basically First Student's only competition in the west end for the french board, I can see Campeau benefiting from that loss.

And that after prom stuff sounds like stuff that originally First Student used to do prior to us slowly losing charter customers before our complete shutdown.

In my personal opinion I see Campeau as being the primary School Vehicle operator in eastern Ontario and South western Quebec. We operate school runs as far west as Perth , far east as Hawkesbury , Gatineau and area , Ottawa and Area . We operate full size buses , mini buses and vans. Have contracts with LSE, and Transcollines.

ALSO if Anyone is applying at Campeau to drive a bus , try and request a CAM ( french) run over a C run ( OSTA ) , French runs Pay a lot more , and more chances of doing Charters.

It's funny, I'm actually planning to apply to Campeau as a spare driver. But Judy told me she had enough former First Student drivers that I can only be a spare driver (because one can never have enough spare drivers). I was a spare driver at First Student because I was able to get a nice 2012 Thomas C2 with only half a year seniority (since First Student was seniority based). That and I actually made more money since the pay at First was by route, rather than by hour. So as a result, I had to cover some of the really high paying routes, that someone with my low seniority wouldn't be able to touch otherwise. After that, I liked being a spare since I liked the element of surprise that I'd get every morning, so I decided that wherever I end up, I will be a spare driver. I prefer driving the downtown school routes, and Campeau got all the downtown OSTA schools (except Immaculata), so that is how I made my decision. Being a spare, I think I may end up having to do some french board routes during my time.

Still quite a few First Bus School Buses in the yard on Moodie Drive. Haven't left town yet.

Yup! That Moodie Yard has no interest as far as being purchased, so First Student is using it to store most of the remaining buses in Ottawa until they're all picked up (since it's the receiving branches that are doing the pickups).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dev161   

Oh nice! Glad to see a fellow Ottawa School Bus Driver is on here :)

Same goes for you my friend , Campeau is a great company Judy is Awesome, Marquis is amazing , Alex ( owners son ) is a great guy too although he isn't the best at english !! Which Yard will you work out of Startop ? Spares usually end up having a brand new BlueBird with Luggage bays , they are nice buses to drive. I planned on going as a Charter Driver come september but I may be starting at OC by that point so we shall see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

Same goes for you my friend , Campeau is a great company Judy is Awesome, Marquis is amazing , Alex ( owners son ) is a great guy too although he isn't the best at english !! Which Yard will you work out of Startop ? Spares usually end up having a brand new BlueBird with Luggage bays , they are nice buses to drive. I planned on going as a Charter Driver come september but I may be starting at OC by that point so we shall see.

I might be starting at OC too, that is also why I am considering going spare, since I'm not going to rely on the fact I might be joining on OC, so just in case, I'd rather play it safe and go by the assumption that I am not going to be joining OC anytime soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dev161   

I might be starting at OC too, that is also why I am considering going spare, since I'm not going to rely on the fact I might be joining on OC, so just in case, I'd rather play it safe and go by the assumption that I am not going to be joining OC anytime soon.

Yeah I just got the email from OC today saying to hand in my Z endorsment so that they can put me in training !! I am doing my course thursday and friday so I will know Monday when Training starts for me , hopefully one of the first classes , goal is to be Operator 8888!! What stage for Oc you at ? and going spare at campeau is a good time , especially if you end up being a charter driver , you make close to 1500 a pay if you do mostly charter work !! 15/hr for 8hrs plus Charter pay from what I understood !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

Yeah I just got the email from OC today saying to hand in my Z endorsment so that they can put me in training !! I am doing my course thursday and friday so I will know Monday when Training starts for me , hopefully one of the first classes , goal is to be Operator 8888!! What stage for Oc you at ? and going spare at campeau is a good time , especially if you end up being a charter driver , you make close to 1500 a pay if you do mostly charter work !! 15/hr for 8hrs plus Charter pay from what I understood !!

Oh nice!!!! Yeah they haven't sent me any emails yet except one to tell me that they haven't forgotten to schedule me for an interview, despite obviously you and two other people I know having gotten interviews. I already have my Z endorsement from when I first tried to get on with OC, so I'm all set in that department! And that definitely would be nice pay being a charter driver at Campeau!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MCIBUS   

I'm just curious as to why these companies just don't buy First Student school buses as it appears there getting out of the Ottawa market?Wouldn't it be easier then ordering new buses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dev161   

I'm just curious as to why these companies just don't buy First Student school buses as it appears there getting out of the Ottawa market?Wouldn't it be easier then ordering new buses?

So part of OSTA's Contract states , that when a company takes over runs , those runs have to be operated by NEW buses , That is why All of Campeau's 2015 BlueBird Visions were put on the OSTA runs , and almost all the CSTO ( Consortium de Transportation Scolaire D'Ottawa ) had to use the old buses , very few got new buses. When I took over the run CAM244 ( CSTO ) they gave me a 2003 BlueBird Vision to drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So part of OSTA's Contract states , that when a company takes over runs , those runs have to be operated by NEW buses , That is why All of Campeau's 2015 BlueBird Visions were put on the OSTA runs , and almost all the CSTO ( Consortium de Transportation Scolaire D'Ottawa ) had to use the old buses , very few got new buses. When I took over the run CAM244 ( CSTO ) they gave me a 2003 BlueBird Vision to drive.

Also First Student has been transfering these buses to other parts of the county. Some have gone to the GTA and Alberta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

Also First Student has been transfering these buses to other parts of the county. Some have gone to the GTA and Alberta.

Yeah apparently most of Cumberland's FS-65s are supposed to be brought out to Alberta (which those things were garbage anyway). Also I spotted 3 of our former buses in Toronto when I visited there last week. One of them in the Scarborough yard, one of them in the King City yard. I also spotted one of the former uOttawa buses in the Scarborough yard parked next to the former Cumberland bus that I spotted in the yard. (Which the uOttawa buses were operated by First Student Nepean, aka Moodie)

Anyway, I did my rounds today to see how the First Student yards are doing, Bantree and Trim are completely empty (and they've removed the fuel tank at Trim, since last thing I heard, that yard was supposed to be developed, since the land it's sitting on is very valuable now that it's surrounded by suburban development), Jamie is still a Voyageur yard, and West Carleton (aka Carp) is now officially the home of Voyaguer. Their yard is full of brand new 2016 IC's. Nepean's yard (Moodie Drive) is right now the only yard left with buses remaining, and I noticed they have most of our Cumberland buses, as they got our two large wheelchair Corbeil buses sitting there (which were supposed to be retired two years ago, but they kept messing up the replacement bus order and they were 14 years old so they're definitely going to be retired now). Those are definitely the last remaining pieces of First Student in Ottawa is right now at Moodie.

Also one interesting bus I noticed is a 2004 Corbeil sitting at Moodie Drive, which is very interesting since none of the First Student branches in Ottawa (except Cumberland's two large wheelchair Corbeil's) had any Corbeil's. As OSTA prohibits the use of "low visibility buses" (which Corbeil's fell under that classification). Only "high visibility buses" may be used, which consist of "sloped hood, stub-nose, or flatnose". So that 2004 Corbeil must have came from somewhere else, as it definitely was not an Ottawa bus originally, which leads me to believe that Moodie Drive will be used by First Student to store buses for Eastern Ontario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dev161   

Apparently Campeau tried to purchase First Students Moodie Yard but the property is only for lease . and Campeau wants to own not lease.

Also Apparently Starting this coming school year , Campeau will start a new Charter Division, including a sales department what will visit schools,and such to promote the company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

Apparently Campeau tried to purchase First Students Moodie Yard but the property is only for lease . and Campeau wants to own not lease.

Also Apparently Starting this coming school year , Campeau will start a new Charter Division, including a sales department what will visit schools,and such to promote the company.

That'll be nice (for the charter division). But that's very interesting that First Student is only willing to lease out that yard, since they own it 100%, and they were willing to sell it to Voyageur (as they offered both Moodie and Carp for sale to Voyageur, but Voyageur took Carp). But then again, the same person who was running First Student Cumberland is now running Voyageur, so go figure.

But I am starting to get the feeling that First Student's presence in Ottawa will not be coming to an end, since maybe First Student will also stick around like Stock did and maybe just do charters (not that they would be very successful imo). We were told that they wouldn't stick around, but also when Stock lost their routes to Campeau and Roxborough, Stock was saying they weren't going to stick around, but they ended up doing so anyway for charters. But it would make sense as Moodie has been the only branch that I've heard action on their radio (since I own a radio scanner) since our "termination date", which it sounds like drivers who were doing charters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes sense. Ottawa is too big of a market for First Student to drop out of . I would expect to see them try charter service for a year or two. If that does not work then you would see them pull out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MCIBUS   

If they do I can see them using Bantree Yard as their bus holding area. I'm not sure how many buses can fit there so maybe Moodie might be better.

Speaking of Voyageur, strange to see that name on school buses. I wasn't aware there was a company called Voyageur that owned school buses.

Funny that Voyageur(Coach) which was owned by Greyhound which in turn was owned by First Bus which owned First Student.

Is the charter biz really that big in Ottawa for school buses(non school related)for general charters for companies or individuals? I'm aware of the service for Red Black games(not sure if they have it for the 67's hockey team or not), but is it really that popular to rent school buses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dev161   

If they do I can see them using Bantree Yard as their bus holding area. I'm not sure how many buses can fit there so maybe Moodie might be better.

Speaking of Voyageur, strange to see that name on school buses. I wasn't aware there was a company called Voyageur that owned school buses.

Funny that Voyageur(Coach) which was owned by Greyhound which in turn was owned by First Bus which owned First Student.

Is the charter biz really that big in Ottawa for school buses(non school related)for general charters for companies or individuals? I'm aware of the service for Red Black games(not sure if they have it for the 67's hockey team or not), but is it really that popular to rent school buses?

Apparently Ottawa has a really big charter market , some of the drivers at Campeau are making similar salaries as OC drivers just because of the amount of charters they work. In the summer time especially , we had 2 buses travel out to Manitoba recently from what I heard which would be a painful ride in a school bus. I know Voyageur is not permitted to do Charters In Ottawa but are illegally doing a couple right now. I doubt First Student will stay in Ottawa for charters , they were not doing to many to begin with during the school year , Roxbourough, National , Wubs are the major charter operators in Ottawa followed by Campeau.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First Student unit numbers 230, 244, and 203695 have arrived in Calgary in the past week or so. I have also seen two or three Thomas EFs with the thick and bold "First Student" font on them. Does anyone know if there are more units coming out to western Canada from Ottawa?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
M.Wright   

First Student unit numbers 230, 244, and 203695 have arrived in Calgary in the past week or so. I have also seen two or three Thomas EFs with the thick and bold "First Student" font on them. Does anyone know if there are more units coming out to western Canada from Ottawa?

244 eh? That's my old bus!!!!!

DSC_3722.JPG

Interesting to see they also took one of our flatnoses (which they told us that no one would take them as no one wanted flatnoses, but I guess Calgary has some, so that makes sense).

Also all the flatnoses that had the bold "First Student" logo were Nepean and West Carleton buses, all the Cumberland flatnoses (which all 3 buses you mentioned were Cumberland buses) had the old normal First Student logo on them. So definitely any Thomas EF's you see with the normal First Student logo, please let us know the number of them (as I was never too familiar with Nepean and West Carleton's fleet).

It's funny, when the Calgary First Student guys were checking out a bus beside mine during my morning circle check, I mentioned 244 was a rather good one (since he told me they were only looking at the Nova Scotia buses), so I guess that made him check out that particular bus. Which makes sense since they called the driver (who parked at home) and asked if he could come in because someone wants to check out that bus.

What's also interesting is those two Nova Scotia's you spotted (244 was used as a spare at the end of last year), when 230 broke down on one of our driver's, 244 was his spare.

Also as for our charter market in Ottawa, yes it is big, especially for non-school trips. First Student when we were doing charters, had the Department of National Defence contract (which you may wonder, what would they possibly need a school bus for?). Well the DND charters mainly consisted of cadet trips and other miscellaneous stuff that I am not able to talk about. But I can tell you DND gave us PLENTY of charter work. I haven't heard who got it yet, but I did hear a rumour that Roxborough got it. But DND alone would be enough to justify First Student staying in Ottawa.

DSC_3722.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×