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Transportation Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m on the wait list for an unassigned seat/ courtesy seat and haven’t heard back yet.
A: HRCE will not be able to confirm how many unassigned seats are available until after late registration of new students and all routing is finalized. HRCE will inform families of any unassigned seat availability once all eligible bus students are accounted for, which will likely be by mid-October. You will receive an email communication if assigned an extra seat or not so there is no need to re-apply.

If you have further questions, please contact the HRCE Transportation Team at 902-431-4723 or via email transportation@hrce.ca.

Q: How can I make a request for an unassigned seat (formerly known as courtesy seat)?
A: Please contact the HRCE Transportation Team at 902-431-4723 or via email transportation@hrce.ca

Q: If I was approved for an unassigned seat (formerly courtesy bus seat) last year do I need to reapply this year?
A: If you were approved for 2018-19 by HRCE and nothing has changed (moved or changed schools), you do not need to re-apply. You will be provided with transportation for 2019-20.

Q. How do I register my child for student transportation?
A: When you register your child for school, they will automatically be registered for student transportation, if they are eligible.

Q: How do I find my child's bus schedule information?
A: parents/guardians can find the information online by logging into BusPlanner’s Parent Portal.

Q: How do I subscribe to notifications about my child’s bus?
A: Go to BusPlanner, click on the Parent Portal and follow the instructions to create an account. You will need a valid email address and most importantly, your child’s Provincial Student Number.

Q: Where do I find my child’s Provincial Student Number?
A: The 10-digit Provincial Student Number appears on your child’s report card, is available in PowerSchool or can be obtained by calling the school during the school year. After June 28, please call us at 902-464-2000 or visit our HRCE offices at 33 Spectacle Lake Drive.

Q: How far do I have to live from the school to be eligible for school bus transportation?
A: Student transportation is provided for those students living at least 2.4 kilometers from their school (for students in Grades Primary to 6) or at least 3.6 kilometers from their school (for students in Grades 7 to 12).

Students are assigned to routes based on their address information in PowerSchool. Eligibility is determined from the student’s address to the school property line (BusPlanner measures the “curb to curb” distance along public roads and walkways).

Q: How do I know if my child is eligible for busing?
A: Eligibility for busing can be verified through BusPlanner .

Q: BusPlanner says my child isn’t eligible, I disagree. Who do I contact?
A: Please contact our Transportation Team at 902-431-4723 (HRCE), or by email at transportation@hrce.ca .

Q: Are unassigned seats (formerly courtesy bus seats) available this year?
A: As a courtesy in 2019-20, the HRCE may allow the very few unassigned bus seats to be used by students who are not eligible for student transportation. Seats go to eligible bus students first and unassigned seats are extremely limited.

  • HRCE will not be able to confirm how many unassigned seats are available until after late registration of new students and all routing is finalized.
  • HRCE will inform families of any unassigned seat availability once all eligible bus students are accounted for, which will likely be mid-October.
  • If families have students that have changed schools or moved or want to request an unassigned seat, please contact the HRCE Transportation Team.

If approved for an extra seat in 2019-20, please note this service may be discontinued at any time by the HRCE if there are any new students that are bus eligible or routing changes.
It would then be the parent’s/ guardian’s responsibility to provide transportation for their child to and from school.

Q: When will I know my child’s route and bus stop?

A: Routing is now ready for review and can be confirmed through BusPlanner

Note: Late Registration was August 28th this year, which could impact routing. Please confirm your child’s route information before school starts even if you have reviewed earlier in the summer.

Q: My child is starting Grade Primary. What do I need to know?
A:
A parent or guardian must accompany Primary students to the bus stop and remain with the child until they are safely boarded on the bus. A parent or guardian must also be at the home stop to greet the student at the end of the day. Please arrive at least five minutes before pick up and drop off. 

If a parent or guardian is not at the bus stop to meet the Primary student at the end of the day, the student will not be permitted to get off the bus. The driver will work to ensure that the child’s family is contacted. Once the run is complete, the student will be returned to the school for pick up by a parent or guardian.

Q: How do I arrange transportation for my child with special needs? 

A: There is a process to determine transportation requirements for a child with special needs. To initiate this process, please contact your child’s school. The principal will work with HRCE’s Student Services team to assess the student’s need and requirements for transportation. If approved, busing will be provided to your child, regardless of the distance you live from the school. A member of our transportation team will reach out in August with busing details for your child, once routing is finalized.

Please note: if you are registering your child with special needs for school during July or August, a member of our transportation team will connect with you in late August to make sure you are ready for the 2019-20 school year.

Q: How do I arrange transportation for my child if we are a dual-custody family? 
A: If you are a dual-custody family and your child has more than one custodial residence, please contact us. To ensure accurate information for busing, we need to speak with you directly. Please call 902-464-2000, ext. 2871.

Q: Is there school bus transportation for children attending the Pre-Primary Program?
A: Not for the 2019-20 school year. Parents/Guardians are responsible for getting children to the Pre-Primary Program.

Q: Why isn't the HRCE included in school bus transportation this year for Pre-Primary busing?
A: The HRCE is currently working through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to choose a new service provider. Busing eligible pre-primary children for HRCE will begin in 2020 and will be part of that contract.

Q: I have chosen to send my child to a school as an out-of-area student. Are they eligible for student transportation?
A: Students attending a school that is out-of-area do not qualify for student transportation. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to transport their child to school if they are attending a different school under the out-of-area process.

Q: How far will my child have to walk to get the bus?
A: In general, HRCE plans bus stops to ensure students have to walk no more than 500 meters to their nearest bus stop. However, in some areas this distance may be longer if the bus is unable to safely access a closer stop.

Q: I have other children at home and cannot accompany my child to the bus. Can the bus make an extra stop at my house? 
A: It is the responsibility of parents and guardians to get students safely to designated stops. These stops are chosen for a variety of safety and efficiency reasons. Extra stops cannot be added to accommodate individual families.

Q: What if my child needs to go to a sitter/daycare/after school program?
A: Students are eligible for student transportation based on their civic address; however, the HRCE recognizes that childcare arrangements may require students to travel on alternate buses.

During registration, parents and guardians can identify an alternate transportation address for either AM pick, PM drop off, or both, provided:

  • the change is consistent 5 days a week,
  • the requested stop is already established on an existing route serviced by that school, and
  • there is sufficient space on the bus.

Q: My child wants to go to a friend’s house after school. Can they take a bus that is not their assigned bus?
A: No, this is a safety issue. We are responsible for your child during the school day, and we take that responsibility seriously. We need to know where all students are at all times.

Q: How will I be notified if there is a change to my child’s bus route?
A: If you have subscribed to notifications through BusPlanner’s Parent Portal you will automatically be notified by email. Schools will also be notified.