Student Transportation Updates for the 2021-22
The Toronto Student Transportation Group (TSTG) is responsible for organizing and leading student transportation for the TDSB and TCDSB. TSTG continues to work hard with both school boards and bus operators to ensure the safety of student transportation services for the 2021-22 school year, following all public health and Ministry guidelines.
On March 9, 2022, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of
Health Dr. Kieran Moore
announced additional changes to COVID-19 guidance for the province. As a result,
changes have been made to the health and safety protocols on school busses.
Below is a list of measures that we will continue to take on school buses to
keep students and drivers safe.
Health and Safety Protocols on School Buses
- Before every trip, bus drivers, students, parents and staff must self-assess for any COVID-19 symptoms. All students and drivers who experience symptoms must follow isolation guidance from Toronto Public Health. If a child develops symptoms while at school, he/she will not be permitted to return home on a school bus and must be picked up by a parent/guardian or provided a safe alternate means of transportation.
- While masks are not required (with the exception of some circumstances including following a COVID-19 diagnosis, being in close contact with someone with COVID-19, and following travel out of the country), they are strongly encouraged.
- Students will be assigned seats on the bus.
- Whenever possible, windows will be opened to increase ventilation on the bus.
- Enhanced cleaning for high touch surfaces (e.g. seats, inside hand railing, interior windows and walls, etc.) will be performed before and after each shift, as well as in between runs.
- Hand sanitizer will be made available on the bus, and drivers will use sanitizer before and after assisting a child to their seat (if applicable), touching wheelchairs or other assistive devices, or having other direct contact with children, as needed throughout a trip and where gloves are not able to be used.
Empty Seat Policy
Once again, the TDSB’s Empty Seat Policy (PR504) has been put on hold for the 2021-22 school year to help promote physical distancing on school busses, as well as to help the TSTG and bus operators effectively plan bus routes and seating arrangements in line with the COVID-19 health and safety precautions. Information about the Empty Seat Policy for the 2022-23 school year will be provided soon.
All parents/guardians with children who take the bus to school are encouraged to sign up for the Student Transportation Parent Portal to access important information and updates. The Parent Portal gives you access to transportation information specific to your child, including route number, stop location, times and bus company contact details. There is also the web based “where’s my bus” tool that will indicate the whereabouts of the bus for those who are registered.
If you have additional questions about student transportation for the 2021-22 school year, please call the TSTG at 647-790-3829 or email email@example.com.