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Transportation

Student Transportation


The provincial government recently passed Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees. This new legislation impacts how Edmonton Catholic Schools charges for transportation fees. 

Click here for the 2017 – 2018 Bus Pass Fees Schedule


Student Transportation Fees Key Messages


Free bus passes are provided to these students:

  • any students attending the regular program at their designated school and living 2.4 km or more from that school; all students have a designated school that is determined by the attendance area for that school

  • all special needs students who require yellow school bus transportation

  • all kindergarten transportation has been and will continue to be free

Dual Track Schools:

  • Students who live within the attendance area of their designated school for regular programs but who are enrolled in a program of choice such as a language program or sports academy at that school, qualify for a free bus pass if the student’s residence is 2.4 km or more from the dual-track school.

$18 Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) differential fee:

  • This applies to any students attending their designated school and living 2.4 km or more from that school and who use ETS

  • The differential fee is $18/month and is based on the amount payable to Edmonton Transit of $730/year less the $549 basic transportation grant = $181/10 months = $18/month differential fee

  • ETS bus passes may be used after school hours and on weekends, therefore, the differential fee is seen as the cost of this enhanced service

Students who pay for a bus pass:

  • students attending their designated school and living less than 2.4 km from that school

  • all students attending a School of Choice such as a French immersion or bilingual language program, sports academy, arts or science academy, International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement program, or other alternative program, regardless of distance from the residence

    • For example: J.H. Picard is a single track French immersion program and is not a "designated" school for regular programming.  All students attending this school will be charged for the cost of a bus pass.


Yellow Bus Passes


Parents/Guardians are reminded that students are required to purchase a yellow bus pass if they are using the yellow bus service. Edmonton Catholic School District collects bus pass fees because the Student Transportation funds we receive from Alberta Education do not cover the costs for the level of service provided. Without bus pass fees the level of service would be greatly reduced. 

Over the past few years we have experienced a large increase in the number of families who are provided with but do not pay for a bus pass.  Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, schools will be responsible for paying for all of the yellow bus passes distributed to their school based on the number of students who are registered for yellow bus transportation and then ensuring that payment is received. There are thousands of families who diligently purchase bus passes for both the yellow bus as well as Edmonton Transit and it is only equitable and consistent that all families pay bus pass fees for accessing yellow bus transportation service.



Financial Waiver


No student in the District shall be denied access to school programs or student transportation because of financial hardship. Where necessary, the Principal may, at their discretion and on an individual student basis, waive bus pass fees. The District does not outline specific criteria as this alternative is a discussion between the Principal and the parent. Financial hardship should be reviewed on a month-to-month basis. Please contact your school Principal if you wish to be considered for the financial hardship waiver.



Access to yellow school bus transportation


Bus drivers are trained and directed to allow a student to get on the bus on the way to school even if the child does not have a valid bus pass. This is a safety concern and we will not allow a child to be stranded at a bus stop. However, please keep in mind that Principals may keep students who do not have a valid bus pass at the school at the end of the day and parents will be contacted to pick-up their child at the school.


Cancellations


When your child is registered for the bus, a seat is reserved. If your child is not going to use transportation, please inform your school immediately and preferably with 30 days notice so that the service is canceled. Otherwise, without notification of a cancellation, a bus pass will be sent to the school and the school will need to pay for that bus pass, even though your child is not using the service.  

Thank you very much for your attention to these important issues regarding student transportation.


Do I need to complete a transportation application in order for my child to use the bus?


YES, all students requesting yellow bus service are required to complete a Transportation Application form. 

If your child is currently taking the yellow bus and is continuing at the same school and all information remains the same (such as home address, transportation address, phone numbers), then it is NOT necessary to complete a new transportation application. Your child's stop will be carried forward to the new routes for September 2016.


A new application form is required if there has been any change in information such as:

  • Change of address
  • Change of telephone number
  • Change in contact information


All Kindergarten students
 need to complete a transportation application.


All Grade 1 students need to complete a transportation application. This includes Kindergarten students who used the regular bus service this school year either at the beginning or end of the day. A new application is required in order that both an AM and a PM stop are in place on the bus route. If your child attended full day kindergarten in 2015-16 and used the yellow bus service, it is NOT necessary to complete a new transportation application. 

All Grade 7 students who are eligible for yellow bus service are required to complete an application form (unless the student is continuing at the same school; e.g. at a K to 9 elementary/junior high school).


Where can I get an application form?


Forms can be obtained at your child's school or online at www.ecsd.net 

Yellow Bus Transportation Application Form 2017-2018 - PDF Form 
Family Plan Application 2017-2018  - pdf form 
Transportation Change Form – PDF Form



My child is not going to continue using the yellow bus service next year – what do I need to do?


Please make sure that you CANCEL the transportation – either let your school know or contact Transportation Services at (780) 441-6078 or email transportationservices@ecsd.net.

Cancellations
When your child is registered for the bus, a seat is reserved. If your child is not going to use transportation, please inform your school immediately and preferably with 30 days notice so that the service is cancelled. It is important that parents cancel the yellow bus service because unused stops can affect ride times as well as the efficiency of the route.



How do I know if my child is eligible for yellow bus service?


Questions regarding eligibility for transportation can be answered by the school or by calling Transportation Services at (780) 441-6078 or email transportationservices@ecsd.net.


How will I know which bus route, the stop location and the pick-up and drop-off times for my child? 


Parents will receive a phone message the week of August 14th advising that the school start-up transportation information is posted in the Parent Portal in PowerSchool.


 

New Applications received during the summer or after school starts on September 5, 2017


  • Requests are processed in the order in which they are received.
  • During school start-up, it can take several weeks for new requests to be processed due to the high volume of applications. 
  • Parents will be notified by phone when the request has been processed and can access the updated transportation information in the Parent Portal in PowerSchool.
  • Route changes are implemented weekly – every Wednesday. Communication regarding new routes is sent on the Friday prior to the Wednesday when the revised changes will be in effect.


Kindergarten Noon Hour Curb Service


Kindergarten Noon Hour transportation starts on Wednesday, September 11th, 2017.  There are two types of bus service provided to kindergarten students:

Yellow bus service, using designated stops on regular bus routes, either in the AM or PM (depending on whether your child is in the morning or afternoon kindergarten class); AND

  • Kindergarten Noon Hour transportation which is a curb service provided mid-day.

Kindergarten Noon Hour Curb Service transportation is based on the following criteria:
The address must be located within the transportation catchment area for the school.

  • Only one address can be accommodated for noon hour curb service.

  • Curb service is available where roadways and/or access allow (for example: door-to-door service may not be available in new subdivisions where roads are not developed or during winter road conditions). Under these circumstances, students may be required to access a designated safe stop location until such time as the roadways or road conditions change.

Families requesting transportation for their kindergarten child are required to complete a Kindergarten Transportation Application – forms are available at your school. Letters will be sent to parents the week of August 14th with the times for the noon hour pick-up or drop-off as well as information on the regular bus (stop location and times).



Why can't my child start taking the bus right away?


It is essential information that the school and the bus driver know which students are on the yellow bus; therefore Kindergarten and Grade 1 students must be registered to use the yellow bus service and the students' name and stop location needs to be shown on the detailed route schedule. This is a best practice in order to ensure the safe transportation of your child. 

District transportation policy requires that an adult/guardian is available to receive all Kindergarten and Grade 1 students at the scheduled drop-off location and time.

 


What happens if I am not at the bus stop to meet my child who is in Kindergarten or Grade 1?


It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that an adult/guardian is available to receive Kindergarten and/or Grade 1 students at the scheduled drop-off location and time. If no one is available, bus drivers are instructed to contact the carrier, communicate this information and then continue on with the route. At the end of the route, drivers will return the student to the school.


MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YELLOW BUS SERVICE


SAFE STOP LOCATIONS


All bus stop locations are selected with student safety in mind. Safety is the top priority when designing a yellow bus route as well as ensuring the shortest ride times possible. Students board and get off buses at designated stops such as:

  • ETS bus stops
  • the far side of intersections
  • the far side of crosswalks
  • school bus loading zones

These designated stop locations promote consistent crossing practices that are safe for students.

Every effort is made to provide bus stop locations within 400 metres of the student's home.


DIFFERENT PICK UP AND DROP OFF LOCATIONS


Requests for students to have different pick up and drop off locations can be accommodated IF both locations are within the school's yellow bus service and both locations remain consistent every day of the week.


ROUTE CHANGES

  • Route changes are processed weekly.
  • Phone notification is sent to parents on Friday advising that their child's route has been adjusted and to check if their pick-up or drop-off times have been affected (or to confirm stop location for new requests).
  • Revised schedules are posted every Friday on the district website
  • Select View Transportation under Bus Info on www.ecsd.net
  • Select Yellow School Bus Directory under Transportation
  • Parents can also access their child's transportation information through PowerSchool Parent Portal.
  • Please inquire at your child's school regarding a login and password for the Parent Portal.


Delayed Buses

  • Delayed bus information is posted on the district website under Bus Info
  • Transportation Services also uses an automated phone notification system {SchoolConnects} to communicate to parents when a bus route is running late with the approximate time delay. Please note that this communication is dependent on bus drivers calling into their dispatch and then bus carriers notifying Transportation Services.
  • The home phone number is the default phone number used; however, parents have the option of requesting one additional telephone number such as a work phone number or cell phone.
  • Notifications can also be sent to an email address
  • Telephone and email address information can be updated using the Transportation Change Form or by contacting Transportation Services at (780) 441-6078 or email at transportationservices@ecsd.net.


Further information can be obtained by talking to your local Catholic School or contacting Transportation Services at (780) 441-6078 or by email at transportationservices@ecsd.net.  

Transportation Services is open from 7:15 am until 5:00 pm Monday to Friday (4:00 on Early Dismissal Thursdays).