Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario

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April 5, 2020

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Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for visiting STSCO'S Frequently Asked Questions page.

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Eligibility

1. Is my child eligible for transportation?

Students are eligible for busing if they live within their school boundary and their primary residence is located further than the distances listed below. Distances are measured by the shortest walking route on publicly maintained roads and/or walkways to the nearest access point from the school.

(a) PVNC (Catholic School Board):
  • Grades JK-3: 1.0km
  • Grades 4-8: 1.6km
  • Grades 9-12: 3.2km

(b) KPR (Public School Board):
  • Grades JK/SK: 1.0km
  • Grades 1-8: 1.6km
  • Grades 7-8: 2.4km (Intermediate Schools only)
  • Grades 9-12: 3.2km

(c) CSC MonAvenir (French Catholic School Board):
  • Grades JK/SK: 1.0km
  • Grades 1-8: 1.6km
  • Grades 9-12: 3.2km

Students who reside within walk zones are expected to walk to school or to be transported by their families in a way they are comfortable with.

We are governed by eligibility policies of your Board. For further information, please click here for KPR policies or please click here for PVNC policies. These policies provide transportation eligibility distances.

2. What is a designated school boundary?

Each School Board sets attendance boundaries for its schools and programs. Children who reside within the attendance boundary of a school are entitled to attend that school, provided that they are accepted into the relevant program. Your local school can provide information on their respective attendance boundary. You may also verify your designated school by visiting the Find a School webpage for your Board. If your child attends a KPR school, please click here. If your child attends a PVNC school, please click here.

3. How do I find out about busing arrangements/changes for my child?

Prior to the first day of school, you may contact the secretary at your school or you may visit the Parent Login to check your child's transportation information. STSCO encourages parents/guardians to check busing information each year. Please note that pick up and drop off times and locations may change from year to year or during the school year.

If any significant changes are made to your child's transportation during the school year, you will be contacted by STSCO.

4. My child attends a daycare. Does my child qualify for transportation?

Transportation to an alternate address for a daycare can be arranged if the following conditions are met:

  • The alternate address is within the school transportation boundary and is eligible for transportation (i.e., outside of the walk zone)
  • The home address is eligible for transportation.
    - If your home address is not eligible for transportation, because you live out of bounds or are within the walk zone, the request will only be approved if there is space on an existing route
  • The alternate address is used consistently every day, Monday through Friday every week for the school year
  • A Daycare Request has been submitted, prior to May 31st, through the Parent Login
    - If your child is in JK, the school secretary can provide a hard copy of the form to submit on your behalf

Please keep in mind that not all daycare facilities receive door stops. Please check with your daycare provider to ensure that someone is accompanying your child to and from the designated bus stop.

5. If I live in the walk zone, and there is a bus in my area with empty seats, can I ride the vehicle?

Non-eligible riders are not permitted to ride any vehicle, even if the vehicle may have empty seats. This applies even if the student has a younger sibling who is eligible and assigned to the bus.

6. My child's parents live at two different addresses. Is it possible for my child to ride from both parent's homes on different days?

Please review your School Board's policy to determine if you are eligible to apply for joint custody transportation. To apply for a joint custody request, please contact your child’s school to receive a copy of the joint custody transportation form. This form must be filled out in its entirety, with the verifiable written separation agreement attached, and submitted to the school Principal. The school principal will submit the form to STSCO on your behalf. This form is required to be submitted on an annual basis, prior to May 31st. Each request is unique and not guaranteed to be approved. If your child will be transitioning to a new school (e.g. attending high school in September) please complete this process at the school your child will attend in September.

7. I am moving. Who do I need to notify?

Contact the school and register your child, or, if the school remains unchanged, provide the new address information to the existing school. STSCO arranges transportation based on the information provided by the school.

8. How do I request specialized transportation for my child with special needs?

STSCO and member School Boards support integration of students with special needs with their peers whenever possible. Therefore, first consideration is given to transporting students on a regular school bus route where possible.

If a student requires any accommodations due to medical condition or disability, parents should speak to their school Principal or Special Education teacher about transportation options.

The Special Transportation Request is submitted by the school on behalf of the parent to the Board for review. Only approved requests are sent to STSCO to arrange transportation that best meets the student's needs.


Bus Routes and Stops

9. I am unhappy with my stop location and want it changed. How do I request a change to the stop location?

Centralized bus stops are used throughout the region, so it should be understood that students will be required to walk or otherwise travel a limited distance to and from the bus stop.

To fill out a Bus Stop Change Request (BSCR), please log in to the Parent Login.

The stop location request will be reviewed by STSCO and a decision will be made and communicated to the parent/guardian.

10. I am going on vacation. Can my child be dropped off at a different location?

Temporary transportation changes cannot be accommodated. Parents/or guardians traveling (i.e. Trips, conferences, etc...) throughout the school year are responsible for making their own arrangements for their children if they are at a caregivers/family friend for the duration of the parent/guardian's absence.

11. Can my children, in different grades, ride together on the same bus?

Only in situations where eligibility for service qualifies them each individually to be on the same bus can they ride together. For example, if one of your children requires an accessibility vehicle, it does not mean both your children will be transported via this vehicle.

12. Do all JK students receive bus stops at their door?

JK students are governed by the same eligibility policy as all other students. STSCO will try to use centralized stops as close as possible to the younger students location.


Bus Driver and Vehicle

13. I have a concern about my child's bus driver. Who do I contact?

If you have a concern regarding your child's bus driver, contact STSCO. When a concern is received by STSCO, the bus operator is contacted and the situation is investigated. It is important to know your child's bus number and to know if the concern is based on an isolated incident or persistent behaviour.

If you have a concern regarding student behaviour on the bus, you should contact the school. The bus is considered an extension of the classroom and the Principal of the school is responsible for following up with student behaviour issues.

14. I have a concern about student behaviours on my child's bus. Who do I contact?

If you have a concern regarding student behaviour on the bus, you should contact the school. The bus is considered an extension of the classroom and the Principal of the school is responsible for following up with student behaviour issues.

If the route is shared between two schools, and the behaviours involve a student from another school, please contact your Principal so that they can investigate the issue with the Prinicipal of the other school.

15. Can my child bring their musical instruments or sports equipment on the school bus?

If equipment or other items cannot be stored on the student's lap or in their backpack, they are not permitted on the bus. Aisles must be kept clear at all times to ensure the safe evacuation of students from the bus in emergency situations. In addition, large objects often cannot be effectively secured inside the bus which can result in them becoming projectiles in the event of a hard stop or accident.

16. Can I request changes in service directly from the bus driver?

Any request to change a stop location, and transportation related services, must be submitted to STSCO. After reviewing the request, STSCO will notify the person making the request.

To fill out a Bus Stop Change Request (BSCR), please log in to the Parent Login.

Drivers are employees of the bus operator and are not authorized to make any changes or accommodate requests. Bus operators are under contract with STSCO and therefore both the operator and the driver must comply with the Student Transportation Services Consortium policy and terms of the contract. A driver cannot and will not authorize requests or offer opinions on a stop location. It would be inappropriate to place the driver in jeopardy through demands contrary to policy or to their conditions of employment.

17. Why is there another adult, other than the driver, on my child's bus?

Some students require additional assistance when travelling to and from school. An adult bus monitor is a bus company employee who assists students identified by the School Board as requiring additional assistance.

18. Why are there no seat belts on school buses?

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) continuously monitors developments in the industry and works with our road safety and industry partners to assess additional safety features on school buses. Due to the unique design of school bus seating, Transport Canada does not require seat belts to be installed on school buses at this time, other than for the driver.

School buses are designed to protect passengers through compartmentalization. High-back seats with energy-absorbing seat backs and padding are closely spaced together to contain passengers in the seating position.

Transport Canada is responsible for setting safety standards for equipment, including seat belts, on new vehicles and would be responsible for making any possible changes in those standards.

19. What is the seating capacity on a school bus?

STSCO recognizes the safety concerns and problems associated with loading buses to the maximum capacity of 70 passengers. The general guidelines used are:

  • Grades K-6: 3 students to a seat
  • Grades 7-12: 2 students to a seat

Were you unable to find the answer to your question?
If so, email comments@stsco.ca or login to the Parent Login and submit a Customer Service Request.

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