Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario

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January 27, 2020

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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. How do I find out about busing arrangements for my children?

At any time, you may go to PARENT LOGIN or contact the secretary at your school. If they are unable to help you they will direct you to the appropriate STSCO personnel.

2. I am unhappy with my stop location and want it changed. I feel it may be unsafe for my child. How do I change the stop location?

We are governed by eligibility policies of your Board. For KPR policies, please click here. For PVNC policies, please click here. These policies provide transportation eligibility distances. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to get the student to and from the stop, both in the morning and the afternoon. Concerns can be registered with STSCO staff, but it is indeed a parental responsibility to get children to the stops.

3. 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 which are normally placed at road intersections.

4. Does the STSCO office close at the end of June like a school?

The STSCO office is open year round. The summer months are ideal planning months as regular schools are closed. We encourage parents to contact us during the summer months rather than the very busy, first few weeks of school.

5. If I have infants at home, can I change my bus stop to my door, so I do not have to bundle up my children?

Your children's transportation is governed by the same policies as other families who do not have infants at home. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to get students to and from the stop, both in the morning and the afternoon.

6. If my spouse and I are separated, is it possible for my child to ride from both my house and then my ex-spouse's house on different days?

This depends where you both live and the legal status of your separation. If both parents live within the school's attendance boundary and you have a custody agreement, which states the frequency of the living arrangements, you may be eligible for dual transportation. Each request is unique and will be evaluated individually.

7. Should I have concerns with mixing elementary and secondary students on the same bus?

Combined elementary and secondary busing is in place in many areas across your Board's jurisdiction. These arrangements work well and bus behaviour is monitored cooperatively by the bus driver and school administration. If there are any issues associated with discipline, language or seating assignments, they will be addressed by the Principals of the schools affected.

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

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.

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

The maximum capacity of a standard school bus is 70 passengers. However, STSCO recognizes the safety concerns and problems associated with loading buses to maximum capacity. The general guidelines used are:

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

Using these guidelines, typical bus maximum capacities will be:

  • Grades K-8:   60 students per standard bus
  • Grades K-12: 54 students per standard bus
  • Grades 9-12: 48 students per standard bus

10. What are the rules for Video Surveillance on buses?

In accordance with School Board Policy, from time to time throughout the year, it may be deemed necessary to use video surveillance on any given school bus to monitor activity and ensure provision of a safe environment for students. Only the Principal, school bus company officials and Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario (STSCO) officials are permitted to view the video footage and the Principal is ultimately in charge of discipline and activity on the bus, in the same way as they oversee activity at their school. This notice is provided to you for your general information and will serve as formal notice should a system need to be placed on your child’s bus during the current school year. Any questions regarding the use of a bus video surveillance system or related School Board Policy can be directed to Joel Sloggett, Chief Administrative Officer at STSCO.

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