The jump in fuel prices over the past few weeks has impacted everyone and that includes the people filling up school buses.
With the price for regular gas averaging around $1.70 per litre in Manitoba school divisions are working to find ways to cover the increased cost.
Kevin Zabowski is secretary-treasurer with the Southwest Horizon School Division and he says without question higher prices at the pumps will impact transportation costs in school divisions directing a good portion of their expenditures to transportation costs.
“We are one of those divisions. About nine per cent of our budget is directed to transportation costs. We travel about one million kilometers per year and that presents a challenge to us. We’ve increased our school bus fuel budget for the 2022-23 school year. It was a projection and we hope it’s enough.”
Trustees have two options when it comes to making up any shortfall created by the spike in fuel prices.
“We can look at the existing budget and see if there are areas we direct to those costs. The division also has an accumulated surplus for situations like this and we can pull funds from there. That would help us cover those costs we weren’t able to anticipate” said Kevin Zabowski.
At nine per cent of total expenditures Southwest Horizon spends about $2 million per year on transportation.
“We put out fuel tenders on an annual basis and if prices go up the division has to make up any difference.”