Background

Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario (STSCO) is responsible for all home-to-school transportation on behalf of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board and MonAvenir Conseil Scolaire Catholique servicing over 60,200 students across 178 schools.

Problem

STSCO delivers safe and efficient transportation services at its Member School Boards using yellow buses, wheelchair accessible buses, and school purpose vans through 9 various different Operators. STSCO’s Operators have had many challenges recruiting and retaining drivers for a number of years. COVID-19 further exacerbated this driver shortage. Consequently, Operators do not have spare drivers to cover open routes, and as new drivers are recruited, experienced drivers are leaving and retiring.

Solution

Extension Marketing was hired to conduct a public awareness and recruitment campaign to help STSCO and their Operators address the driver shortage.  The campaign was launched on May 1st, 2023 and ran until October 1st, 2023.

 

This was accomplished by:

  1. Creating a joint task force (including STSCO, the School Boards, Operators and Extension Marketing) to review results and share information and best practices on a monthly basis.
  2. Leveraging learning and creative assets  from sister consortium OSTA’s 2022 recruitment campaign. 
  3. Building a new applicant-centered microsite and applicant tracking software to manage and distribute applications (www.DriveYellowstsco.ca).
  4. Designing and executing a branded multi-channel marketing campaign targeted at six identified applicant groups. Elements of this campaign included:
    • Social Media Advertising
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Display, Video, Mobile and Google Search Advertising
    • Radio
    • Print
    • Television
    • Outdoor Advertising
    • PR Opportunities
    • Strategic Partner Opportunities

Results

Extension Marketing, in collaboration with the joint task force, successfully reduced the driver shortage and created a widely seen awareness campaign.

  • Over 7.6 million campaign impressions and 2,712 application engagements
  • Over 229 applications completed on the DriveYellowstsco.ca microsite
  • More than 86 new drivers were hired (and counting) with an additional 10 in training
  • The application-to-hire ratio was 3.17% well within the typical benchmark for this industry

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