1. How do I find out about bussing arrangements for my children?
You can access your bus stop location and pick-up and drop-off times via the Parent Portal. You will need your child’s Ontario Education Number (OEN) which is located on report cards to sign-in to obtain your child’s specific information.
If your child is entering junior kindergarten they may not have an Ontario Education Number (OEN) yet, NSTS is directly sending this information to the email or home address you registered with the school.
During the school year, please make all changes to pick-up and drop-off addresses with your school. The school will forward this information to NSTS to arrange transportation.
2. I am unhappy with my bus stop location, how do I get it changed?
The distance from a student’s home to their bus stop cannot exceed the grade eligibility distance of the Board and should be located where the bus driver has a clear view of the road in both directions.
It is the responsibility of the parent to get the student to and from the bus stop, both in the morning and afternoon. Concerns can be registered with NSTS staff, however during the back to school period all bus stop change requests will be reviewed once all eligible students are assigned transportation. If you have a request for change, please email us with your child’s name, school name, your contact information and explain the nature of your request and we would be pleased to respond to you in priority sequence. You can send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Do kindergarten students receive house stops?
Kindergarten students are required to use designated bus stops for morning, mid-day and afternoon bus service. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child’s safety to, from and at the bus stop. It is mandatory while your student is in JK and SK, that you meet the bus at the designated stop on time so that the bus driver can deliver your child safely to you. If you are not waiting for the student, the bus driver will return the child back to the school Principal.
4. I think my student should be eligible for transportation, how do you measure?
NSTS applies the Board policy and measures eligibility distance from the shortest walking route from the point that your driveway joins the roadway to the nearest pathway or sidewalk entrance to the school property. We use a mapping program to determine this distance. We frequently verify our calibrations.
5. If I am not eligible for transportation and there is a bus in my area with empty seats, can I ride the vehicle?
Sorry, students that are not eligible for transportation by distance, hazard, exceptional needs or approved program attendance, are not permitted to ride any vehicle having empty seats. There is no way for us to respond to these requests equitably across the region, and for liability reasons, all riders must be approved and assigned to a bus route by NSTS so that student bus lists are accurate at all times.
In addition to the fair and equitable application of policy and liability reasons, adding riders to the bus to fill empty seats makes the bus routes less efficient and effective. It also reduces the ability of NSTS to continually improve services to achieve our mandate to provide safe, efficient and effective transportation services.
6. How do I find out if my bus is delayed or cancelled?
Bus companies post all delays greater than ten (10) minutes on this website. You can also use the subscription feature available through this website so that delays impacting your child’s bus route are emailed directly to you.
If your bus is cancelled as a result of inclement weather, we try our best to have the announcement on the NSTS, DSBN and Niagara Catholic websites, as well as local radio and television stations by 6:00am. You can also use the subscription feature available through this website so that cancellations impacting your child’s bus route are emailed directly to you.
In poor weather conditions if we do decide to operate student transportation, the bus drivers are driving a safe speed for the road conditions, so please be patient with delays. Ultimately, it is a parent’s responsibility of whether to send your child to school in inclement weather conditions.
If you do not have regular access to the internet, you can contact the bus company directly to learn about specific bus delays or cancellations. Please note the service provider for your child’s transportation and their contact information which is available on the contact page of this website.
7. Who do I contact if my child does not return home on the school bus at the normal time?
Call the bus operator. They will be able to let you know if the bus experienced a delay or problem. Alternately you can call the school or NSTS. At the beginning of the school year, note your student's bus company and bus number down so that we can respond efficiently to issues of this nature.
8. I use a caregiver and/or daycare at an alternate address than my home address? Does my child qualify for transportation.
If your caregiver or daycare is located within the school boundary, the transportation arrangements are consistent five days per week and the alternate address is in the transportation eligibility area, provide your school with the alternate pick-up or drop-off location and we would be happy to provide transportation.
9. 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 NSTS. When a concern is received by NSTS, 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.
10. Why can’t my child have a snack or a drink on the ride home from school?
Eating and drinking are not allowed on the bus for safety reasons. A child could choke on a piece of food and with the high seat backs and noise on the bus, the driver may not be aware of the situation until it is too late. Left over food and drink not only cause a mess, but can attract insects and residue can cause an allergic reaction for the next bus rider. It is safer for everyone when no one eats or drinks on the bus.
11. Can my children, in different grades, ride together on the same bus?
Only in situations where eligibility for service qualifies them to be on the same bus can they ride together. If this is not the case, transportation routing may be on different vehicles. 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. My child was provided bus tickets to ride public transit opposed to a school bus. Is this permitted?
Yes, where students are eligible for transportation under policy, municipal or regional transit services may be deemed the most efficient and effective way to transport your child.
13. Why can’t my child bring their musical instruments or sports equipment to school on the bus?
Aisles must be kept clear at all times to ensure the safe evacuation of student’s from the bus in emergency situations. If equipment or other items cannot be stored on the student’s lap or under the seat, they are not permitted on the bus.