Kindergarten Transportation

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 schools 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.


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

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 eligible for motorized transportation.  If the address is in a shaded area inside the walk zone, the address is eligible for 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 stop to receive your Kindergarten student, s/he 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 that schools will attach to any KG students backpack (preferably on the lower left side) that is eligible for 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 Locations:  Please be aware that your childs bus stop will not 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.  

Safety Awareness Day (First Time Rider Program): 

OSTA, in conjunction with other area school boards and school bus operators, will conduct a safety program for first-time school bus riders on Sunday August 25th, 2019. If you are interested in having your child(en) 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 the First Rider Program, please take some time to review the school bus safety brochure enclosed with your package 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.

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 will be provided a booster seat on van service.

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

Courtesy Seating for Students Not Eligible for Transportation

Students who do not meet the distance eligibility requirement may apply for an empty seat on the school bus. The ​“Application for Access to Empty Seats on School Bus Vehicles form is available in the OSTA website at For the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, it is the responsibility of the school principal to administer the empty seat provision at her/his school. School principals are authorized to assign empty seats on school bus vehicles to students not eligible for busing, serving their schools after October 1. 

For the Ottawa Catholic School Board, it is OSTAs responsibility to administer the empty seat provision for all schools.  OSTA will begin reviewing and processing applications after October 1. 

Thanks for helping us keep all students safe!

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