Kindergarten Transportation Information


In order to secure a seat for your child from the first day of school, it is important that you ensure an accurate home or daycare address is in the school’s information system prior to July.  Routes will be run with all stops as planned from the first day of school, regardless of intermittent KG start up schedule.

Motorized Transportation for Students in the Bus Zone

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) shall provide transportation for students of Member School Boards who reside, or in the case of students in elementary grades (KG to Grade 8) whose caregiver resides, within the designated attendance and/or program boundary of the school they are attending and meet the minimum transportation eligibility distances as follows:

Junior and/or Senior Kindergarten 0.8 km or more

Grades 1 to 8 1.6 km or more

The caregiver address shall supersede the home address within the designated attendance boundary of the school attended for distance measurement purposes. The pickup and drop off addresses must be consistent five (5) days a week.

Transportation to Two Homes

Students who are in a joint custody arrangement and require transportation to two homes may apply for transportation to an alternate home/daycare location based on the parties’ access schedule.  All eligibility rules apply to the second address. Deadline for September 2021 seating is JUNE 1, 2021. All documents are available at:

Get Active! Resources for Students in the Walk Zone

We encourage students and their parents who are within the walk zone to use human-powered transportation.  This leads to a healthier lifestyle, readiness to learn, and reduces traffic congestion around the school.  Preferred walk routes to every school are available at:

Addresses inside the green line are designated walkers.  Addresses outside the green line are assigned motorized transportation.  If the address is in a shaded area inside the walk zone, the address is assigned to motorized transportation based on a walking hazard.

Meeting KG at Bus Stop

To ensure the safety of transported Kindergarten students, school bus drivers shall not drop off these students unless the parent/guardian or a responsible individual identified by the parent/guardian is present at the stop location to accompany the student home. 

If there is no one at the stop to receive your Kindergarten student, they may be transported back to the school to be picked up by the parent/guardian or may be dropped off at the local police station.  Failure to receive your KG child at the stop may result in termination of transportation services.

OSTA will be providing bright yellow plastic tags for each KG student.  Schools will attach these tags to any KG student’s backpack (preferably on the lower left side) that is assigned to motorized transportation services.  These bands will assist the driver in making sure a responsible person is at the stop to collect the student at their drop off point, per policy.  

Bus Stop Location and Parent/Guardian Responsibility

  • Your child’s bus stop will not necessarily be at your door.

  • Kindergarten students can be expected to walk up to 500 meters to their bus stop and must be accompanied by a responsible adult on their walk.

  • Arrive at the bus stop 5-10 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time

  • Dress properly for the weather

Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians

    • Ensuring a parent or guardian is available to receive the kindergarten student at drop off

    • Accompanying student(s) on their way to the stop location;

    • Ensuring the safety and security of student(s) while waiting at the stop location 

    • Assisting student(s) when getting on and off of a school bus or into or out of a small vehicle, including restraints if applicable;

    • Ensuring the safety and security of student(s) after getting off the bus at the drop-off location when returning from school; and 

    • Providing adequate access/supervision to the student(s) at home and/or caregiver as specified by the parent/guardian.

COVID Safety Measures

    • Students in Kindergarten are recommended to wear a mask

    • All vehicles are deep-cleaned twice a day

    • Seating Plans, produced by the school,  ensure family bubbles and classroom cohorts are maintained, to the extent possible.

Other information is available at

School Bus and Pedestrian Safety Day (First Time Rider Program)

OSTA will conduct an online safety program for first-time school bus riders, and young pedestrians the week prior to school start-up.  If you are interested in having your child(ren) attend this important program, please check our website in early July for program date and registration information at  All students are welcome to attend.

If you cannot attend a School Bus and Pedestrian Safety session, please take some time to review the school bus safety brochure and video with your child.  Repetition of school bus safety rules during the first two weeks of school ensures your child, and others, will be safe during their trip to and from school.

Kindergarten - School Bus Safety with Buzzy the Bee

School Bus Safety - A Message to Parents

School Bus Safety for Students

Spread Kindness Not Germs

Bus Stop Finder and the Bus Planner Parent Portal

Parents may access transportation information for their child as of mid-August using the Parent Portal on, or by clicking Bus Stop Finder. Eligibility will be identified as “walker” or will provide information about yellow bus or van service.  

Students riding on vans will be contacted by the driver and will be provided a booster or car seat, if required.

We strongly encourage parents/guardians to sign up for email notification.  This service provides delay information for your child’s route as well as other important service notices like snow day service cancellations.

Courtesy Seating (Empty Seats) for Students in Walk Zones

    • Please note the Courtesy Seating/Empty Seat Program is suspended until normal operations resume due to COVID safety measures in place on buses.

Students, who do not meet the distance requirement for motorized transportation, may apply for an empty seat on the school bus. The “Application for Access to Empty Seats on School Bus Vehicles” form is available on the OSTA website at

All applications are processed and managed by OSTA.  Deadline for Empty Seat applications for consideration in October is normally September 21, 2021. OSTA will begin reviewing and processing applications after October 1. This ensures accurate rider numbers and how many empty seats may be assigned to other students.  

Please do not place your child on a bus until the seat assignment has been confirmed through the Bus Planner Parent Portal.  We have also instructed schools not to put unassigned students on buses for the ride home. To do so could compromise your child’s safety, as their name would not show up on any bus route lists.

Thanks for helping OSTA keep all students safe!

Transportation Preparation Checklist

For All Students


To Do List

Make sure our new home or daycare address is in the school’s data system

If applicable, complete form for transportation to two homes by June 1, 2021

Sign up for email notification on the Parent Portal, or follow OSTA @Ottbus

Check the Parent Portal for transportation details after August 20, 2021

Watch video “Spread Kindness Not Germs”

In the Bus Zone


To Do List

Arrange to have the same person meet my KG child at the stop every day, and let the school know who it will be

If my child has a life-threatening medical condition, let the school know where emergency response equipment will be during transportation

Participate in School Bus and Pedestrian Safety sessions the last week of August

Review school bus safety video and brochure with my child

In the Walk Zone


To Do List

Participate in School Bus and Pedestrian Safety sessions the last week of August

Practice walking the route together before school starts

Set up Walking Buddy or share alternate walking schedule with another parent

Register for a Walking School Bus

Find an alternate parking spot away from the school

If available, submit application for empty seat by September 21, 2021

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