School transportation rides out pressure of sudden increase in gas prices

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative
School transportation rides out pressure of sudden increase in gas prices

While gas prices continue to inch closer to the $2 threshold throughout most of the province, Quebecers are starting to feel their wallets tighten at the pump, and for the Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB), the end of the school year can’t come soon enough.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine two weeks ago, the cost of gasoline has reached record highs in many countries around the world. According to ETSB Transportation Coordinator Bruce Banfill, the school board, and its private contractors, are also feeling the sudden financial squeeze.

“We buy 8,000-10,000 litres of fuel at a time,” he said, noting the ETSB orders its gas in bulk. “Usually it’s not a big difference between the price at the pump, but it can be a penny or two, and a penny can make a big difference when you’re burning the amount of fuel that we burn.”

Banfill told The Record that his last bulk order arrived on March 4. It came out to roughly $1.80 per litre. While the school board has the necessary budget to cover the additional cost in gas, it’s basically a 60 per cent increase since the start of the academic year, he continued.

Banfill said the ETSB was shelling out about $1.17 per litre back in September. By the end of February, the price had reached roughly $1.48 per litre, which is much more palatable than what he’s seeing today. The school board burns through about 660,000 litres every year.

Subscribe to The Record for the full story and more

Share this article