Frequently Asked Questions

At the time you register your child at the school, on the registration form you will check off that you are requesting transportation. This information will be provided to Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay (STSTB) who will then process the request, and if eligible for transportation, communicate the busing information back to the school. Transportation will not be provided until approval has been given from Student Transportation Services Thunder Bay therefore alternate arrangements may have to be made in the interim.

The distance that a student is expected to walk depends on the grade level of the student and whether they are walking to school or to a bus stop. The following chart indicates the walking distances outlined in the Transportation Policy.

Transportation Policy

Grades Distance to School Distance to Bus Stop
JK/SK 0.4 km 0.16 km
Grade 1-3 0.8 km 0.4 km
Grade 4-12 1.6 km 0.8 km

It typically takes 3 business days to organize transportation arrangements once STSTB receives the request from the school. Due to the volume of changes and requests during start up during the last week of August and the first couple of weeks in September it will take 5-7 business days.

Parents now have the ability to access current school bus information for students by using the secure Parental Portal link at www.ststb.ca Please follow the instructions available on the website.

Parent should have their child out at the stop 5 minutes prior to the posted pick up time. Bus drivers are instructed by STSTB not to stop unless they see the student(s) standing out at the stop.

In the event of inclement weather, all bus cancellations, delays and school closures will be reported to the local radio stations by 7:00 am.

Notices will also be available on www.ststb.ca, www.lakeheadschools.ca, www.tbcschools.ca, www.csdcab.ca.

You may also call the Weather and School Closure number at (807) 625-1661.

Should a road or street closure occur in you school zone that will effect transportation to your school STSTB will work with bus operators to find an alternative route and possible changes in pick up and drop off spots for students. STSTB will notify schools and the school will notify parents should there be any changes. Every effort will be made to ensure buses arrive at school on time.

No, any request for a change to a stop location or for the addition of a bus stop must be submitted to the school. The school will put the request through to STSTB. After reviewing the request, STSTB will decide whether the request will be approved or denied, and notification will be given to the school to contact the person making the request. All stops must be authorized by Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay so they can maintain accurate bus route information.

Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay recognizes that there may be an emergency situation where temporary transportation changes for a student are needed. Parent/guardians must make these requests through the school and the school shall determine whether the circumstance is an emergency where the well-being of a student is at stake before forwarding it to STSTB to be processed.

The parent/guardian is responsible for the safety and conduct of the child/children on the way to and from the bus stop and while they are waiting at the bus stop.

Transportation may be provided to and from a caregiver's address if it is within the same school boundary. Transportation will not be provided to a location outside of the school boundary. Please provide this request to the school along with the sitter contact name and number. The request will be sent to STSTB for approval or denial. Once approved or denied the school will provide the information to parent/guardian.

If your child does not arrive home in the afternoon, the first step should be to contact the school to see if the child is still there. If the student is not at the school, the next step would be to contact the bus company. The bus company dispatch will contact the bus driver to see if the child is on the bus or if perhaps the student has gotten off the bus at a location other than at home.

If you cannot contact the school or you do not know the name of the bus company, you may contact STSTB for assistance. The office is open until 5:00 p.m. Our phone number is (807) 625-1660.

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 causes a mess, but can attract bees and wasps. Some students have a very severe reaction to bee stings and to some foods such as peanut butter. It is safer for everyone when the no eating and drinking rule is adhered to.

If you have a concern regarding the driving ability of your child's bus driver, Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay should be contacted. When a concern is received by this office, the bus operator is contacted and the situation is investigated. It is important to know your child's bus number.

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

Compartmentalization and Seat Belts

‘The key to compartmentalization is that the back of each seat is padded and is a specific distance from the seat behind it. If the bus comes to a sudden stop, the padded seat back absorbs the forward energy of the child seated behind. Without a seat belt, the child's body slides forward and hits the seat back in such a way as to distribute the force of the impact over the entire upper body. If a lap belt were used, the child's body might pivot on the belt, focusing the force of the blow onto the head and neck. And if the seat belt is not worn correctly (it should be worn low on the hips) the stomach or spine might be damaged. In addition, there are concerns that instead of wearing their belts, children might play with them, potentially injuring other children on the bus.’

In 1984, Transport Canada conducted research on the use of seat belts on school buses in frontal collisions using the current configuration. It was found that adding seat belts to this system did not increase safety but did increase the potential for more severe head and neck injuries. Transport Canada also tested several other seating configurations, but found no significant safety improvements that did not also involve other safety trade-offs. Given the extremely low number of fatalities involving school bus passengers inside the bus, the addition of seat belts does not constitute a safety advantage.

Research

Transport Canada
www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-b...

Ministry of Transportation Ontario
www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/schoolbus/schoolb...

The STSTB office is open year round. We encourage parents to contact us during the summer months of July and August to set up or change transportation. This is an ideal time to do these changes instead of waiting until the very busy last weeks of August or first weeks of September.

Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay is a student busing consortium by these 3 school boards:

Copyright © Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay

Suite 2001, 715 Hewitson St. Thunder Bay, ON. P7B 6B5 • Phone: (807) 625-1660 • Fax: (807) 622-5818