Every school day, Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region is responsible for the safe transportation of approximately 21,000 Waterloo Region District School Board students to and from school on close to 820 school bus routes, on municipal transit and taxis.
All parents/guardians share in this responsibility by:
Vehicle safety is reviewed with students each term. Vehicle evaluation drills are conducted annually through our schools. Parents/guardians can help ensure safe student transportation by reviewing and discussing safety rules and procedures with their children on a regular basis.
At the Bus Stop:
Parents/guardians should instruct their children to:
Riding School Vehicles
Getting Off School Vehicles
When Safety Rules are Broken
It is essential parents/guardians support enforcement of school bus safety rules. When student behaviour is inappropriate:
School Bus Drivers
School bus drivers are dedicated professionals who must meet Ministry of Transportation standards for a ‘B’ class driver’s license. In addition to student safety and behaviour, they must deal with all types of weather and traffic conditions, other motorists and the danger zone around their own vehicle.
First Rides Program
This program is specifically designed for kindergarten students and their families to become familiar with riding a school bus and school bus safety rules. The Board invites all interested families to participate August 22, 2010. For locations and registration information please visit www.stswr.ca.
School vehicles used to transport students must meet federal and provincial standards and all licensing requirements. They are subjected to mechanical safety inspections twice annually and drivers do a daily circle check before starting out. All vehicles have two-way radios and local bus companies maintain radio contact while vehicles are on the road.
School buses are large vehicles which require more space to maneuver. Large mirrors are required to assist drivers with blind spots. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act requires motorists to stop when the school bus flashing overhead lights and stop arm are activated.
Most students are transported on conventional school buses, but school purpose vehicles, taxis and para-transit services are also used. Where available and cost-effective, municipal transit service may be provided for eligible students in grades 7 to 12. Students receive information about passes/tickets at their individual schools.
Special needs units, school purpose vehicles, vans and taxis are equipped with seat belts although school and transit buses are not. Passenger loads are designed to provide a seat space for each student on a school bus. Public transit permits standing on buses.
Many elementary school bus routes have safety patrollers on board. These students assist other students when embarking/disembarking, and provide support to bus drivers in the event of an emergency situation. They receive training each fall in sessions conducted by the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Municipal Fire Departments and Regional Ambulance.