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Busing & Transportation : Transportation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Busing & Transportation

Transportation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is eligibility to ride a yellow school bus determined?

Eligibility for yellow school bus transportation is determined based on a number of factors including:

  • the primary home address of the student;

  • the distance from the home address to community or designated school;

  • student grade; and

  • student program.

To be eligible for transportation services, students must attend the designated school for the program they choose and live in the transportation service area. Your child is not eligible for transportation if:

  • they are not attending the designated school;
  • they  are within the walk limit for the school (middle/junior high walk limits may be greater than elementary school limits)
  • the school is served by Calgary Transit.

What is a Transportation Service Area? How do I know if my child is eligible for transportation?

A transportation service area for a school is made up of all the homes outside of the school's walk zone but still within the area designated to that school. To find out the attendance area and walk zone for a school visit the school profile page.

What are the travel distances to a yellow school bus stop / walk distances to a school?

Our current CBE guidelines for yellow school bus transportation are that elementary students will access a stop within 1.6 km of their homes and middle school/junior high students will access a stop within 1.8 km of their homes.

The travel distance from home to school varies depending on student grade, geographic or other barriers. It can be up to 2.4 km from home.

Is there a maximum ride time?

Ride times are as short as practicable and the CBE tries to keep them within one hour each way. This is not always possible when children attend special setting schools or alternative programs, especially those with a single site.

What is a congregated stop?

Unlike a community stop which gathers students within walking distance and then transports them to school, a congregated stop serves students at a distance over the walk limit guidelines. A congregated stop is used when there are very low numbers of riders in a community going to a school. 

For the 2017-18 school year, all students an alternative program will access yellow school bus service within a congregated stop model. The longest distances to a yellow bus stop will be for students travelling across the city to a program at a single site. 

Can my child bring a friend home after school with him/her on the bus or can a parent ride the bus with their child (e.g., to volunteer at the school or for a field trip)?

The principal may authorize occasional riders to ride the bus.  Arrangements should be made well in advance with the principal of your school.

How will I know if my bus is going to be late?  Who do I call to find out if my bus is late?

School bus delays of more than 10 minutes are posted on the MySchoolBusMonitor website or you can call the following numbers for updates on your child’s routes:

  • If your child is transported by First Student Canada, call their late bus line. This line is updated frequently (403-531-3900, press “3”).
  • If your child is transported by Southland Transportation, call the transportation carrier directly (403-287-1335).
  • Check Calgary Transit for Calgary Transit bus delays or call 403-262-1000.

What do I do if the school bus does not arrive?

Ensure you have a back-up plan and that you discuss this with your child. This will differ for each family and may change due to weather or other circumstances. It may include your or a family member driving your child to school or carpooling with neighbours. We understand that these options are not always possible and encourage you to develop a plan that is suitable to your family.

Please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather and is not left alone at the bus stop. Bus routes can run significantly late during bad weather.

How do I request a change of bus stop?

  • You can complete a Bus Stop Change Request form. Transportation will consider the request if it meets the following criteria:
  • if the student attends the designated school for their program and there is no stop within the travel distance guidelines.
  • there is no mid-day stop for your kindergarten student.
  • the current bus stop location is deemed a hazard by Transportation and the bus carrier.

Does my child have to ride a specific bus?

As long as you have registered for yellow school bus service, your child can access any yellow school bus stop or route to their school.

Does my child need a bus pass to get on a yellow school bus?

As long as you have registered for yellow school bus service, your child can ride until they receive their bus pass. Passes will be given out to your child by their school.

Where can I find designated Calgary Transit routes?

Designated Calgary Transit routes can be found on their website.

Where can I buy a Calgary Transit Pass?

The CBE does not sell Calgary Transit Passes. Passes can be purchased online, at a Calgary Transit Customer Service Centre or at many grocery or convenience stores. Visit the Calgary Transit website for more information.

What happens to the service if I move?

As long as you continue to be eligible for busing and are registered for yellow school bus transportation, your child can use any existing bus stops.  If you are eligible for busing and there is no stop within the guideline limits or if you have never registered for busing contact Transportation at 403-817-7433.




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Last modified: 9/15/2017 4:07 PM
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