FAQ

About Transportation Arrangements

How do I arrange a change to my child’s transportation for this day/week?

Unfortunately, you will need to make arrangements by other means. We do not accommodate temporary transportation needs, including but not limited to accommodations for lessons, appointments, visiting friends, work schedules, or caregivers being away. All transportation is provided on a daily basis for the full school year and only permanent changes (i.e. changes to school, residence, or childcare location) are accommodated.

How do I arrange for my child to be picked up from one location in the morning and dropped off at a different location in the afternoon?

Provided both locations meet eligibility requirements (i.e. within the school's boundary and outside the walking distance) and will be used every day, all you need to do is visit your school to complete and sign a Transportation Form (or a Joint Custody form, if applicable). Please note: Schedules and special events, such as lessons, are not accommodated. Please call our office at 705-472-8840 to discuss your needs, if you still have questions.

How do I get transportation for mid-day if my child attends school half-days?

Unfortunately, you will need to make arrangements by other means. Parents/guardians choosing to have their children only attend school for partial days must make their own transportation arrangements for mid-day, though they can still access morning or afternoon transportation, provided regular eligibility requirements are met. 

How do I make changes to my child’s transportation during the school year?

All requests for changes to student transportation are made through the school. Please visit your school to complete and sign a Transportation Form (or a Joint Custody form, if applicable). Allow up to 3 full business days for arrangements to be finalized, at which time someone will contact you with details.

Steps:

1) Obtain a Transportation Form from your school. It can be completed on site or returned to the school upon completion. 
2) Fill in the name(s) of the student(s), their school and home address, and any other applicable information. If the pick-up or drop-off location is other than home (i.e. daycare), include details in the middle part of the form. 
3) Please be sure to include at least one method of contact, preferably one with voicemail capability. 
4) Sign the form and give it to your school; they will fax it to our office. 
5) Allow up to three full business days from when the fax is sent to the NPSSTS office. 
6) NPSSTS staff or your bus operator will call you with details. Schools also have access to transportation details for all of their students the day after a change is made in the NPSSTS transportation planning system. Please note that the bus stop may or may not be located at the address you provided, as communal stops are frequently used.

DURING SCHOOL START-UP
We do not make changes to bus routes (i.e. no new bus stops or changes to route paths) during the two weeks before school starts and the first three weeks of school. Students will be assigned to existing stops only. All changes requested at this time of year may take longer to be processed, regardless of whether or not there is an associated route change.

Please note: Transportation is always subject to eligibility (based on NPSSTS guidelines) and is provided on a permanent, daily basis. Only permanent changes (i.e. changes to school, residence, or childcare location) are accommodated. Schedules (ex. daycare 2 days/week) and temporary changes (ex. caregiver is out of town) are not accommodated.

How do I register my child for the bus for September?

Simply register your child for school and provide all addresses for transportation (ex. home and childcare) to the school at that time. If your child is continuing at the same school or proceeding to the senior elementary school in the same school board and zone, please ensure the school has the most current information on file. This includes any medical needs or equipment, joint custody situations, childcare locations, and your new address if you're moving over the summer. You may be required to fill out an additional form; please note that completing a form doesn't guarantee that transportation is available.

Please note: Transportation is always subject to eligibility (based on NPSSTS guidelines) and is provided on a permanent, daily basis. Schedules (i.e. daycare 2 days/week) and temporary changes (ex. caregiver is out of town) are not accommodated.

How do I share concerns about my child’s bus stop location with the NPSSTS?

Anyone can request a bus stop location review by creating an account and filling out the Stop Location Review Form. Stop reviews are conducted by NPSSTS staff using a wide range of criteria, including road conditions (speed limit, visibility, road type, urban/rural area, etc.) and distances between homes and bus stops.

My bus driver said my request can be accommodated. Do I need to contact my school or the NPSSTS about it?

YES! Drivers and operators do not have the authority to make changes. All change requests must come through the NPSSTS office. This is a safety issue: we keep track of the number and names of students on each bus to avoid buses from being overloaded and to know who is where in the event of any emergency during transportation. If your bus driver is the only one who knows all the details of your child's transportation, the potential for unsafe situations increases. On top of that, if there is ever a replacement driver, you may not receive the transportation you've arranged through informal channels.

Why do some students need to transfer between buses?

Given our efficiency and service goals, it is impossible to provide a direct route to school for every student. Even students who don't transfer buses often travel to transfer sites, where other students transfer onto or off of the bus before it continues on its route. Combined routes and transfer sites reduce overall ride times and allow for a more efficient use of the resources at our disposal.

About Transportation Eligibility

How do I find out which school my child should go to and if they are eligible for transportation?

To determine if an address is eligible for transportation, click the green "Check Eligibility" button on our home page (it should open in a new window) or go directly to www.mybussinginfo.ca and select . From there, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your home or childcare address (as applicable), your desired school board, and your child's grade, with the program code* if applicable.
  2. Click the < Submit > button to see the name(s) of the school(s) which correspond to the submitted address. Below the school name, one of the following messages will appear: "You are eligible for transportation" or "You are NOT eligible for transportation". If you are not eligible for transportation, walking directions will be provided.
  3. There will also be a link to < View School Eligibility >. Click on this link to view information about the school, including the address, phone number, available grades, and an image of the school's boundary.

NOTE: After clicking < Submit >, if you receive the message < Could not find any matches for this address. Please check spelling and/or city. > and the addressing information is correct, please contact our office for assistance.

* Program Codes:
A = Arts
F = French Immersion
L = Alternative school
S= Science
T = TIL

Eligibility information is based on the school boundary or school program area, as defined by the applicable school board, and NPSSTS guidelines, which apply to students of all four member school boards.

If you have any questions or require assistance, please call our office at 705-472-8840 or send an e-mail to info@npssts.ca.

My children alternate between two parent homes. How do I arrange transportation in joint custody situations?

If you are in a joint or shared custody situation, you are required to fill out a Joint Custody form (available at all schools). This form collects details for both parents, including any applicable childcare locations. It may or may not be possible to provide transportation for all requested addresses and only this form enables the NPSSTS staff to evaluate such requests.

Transportation, if available, must use existing routes and bus stops: a route will not be altered to accommodate joint custody situations. Arrangements must be for a full week at each address (Monday through Friday); for safety reasons, accommodations for specific days or mid-week changes are not permitted.

If you need more information or have any questions on this matter, please call our office at 705-472-8840 or e-mail info@npssts.ca.

What are the walking distances? How are they measured?

The current walking distances to school for all students in our service area are:

0.0 km Kindergarten
1.0 km Grades 1 to 3
1.6 km Grades 4 to 8
3.0 km Secondary students

Walking distances apply to students of all four member school boards. These distances are measured from where driveways meet the road, following the shortest safe route along public roads and established, maintained walkways.

About Delays and Cancellations

What factors are used to determine bus cancellations and who makes the decision?

Weather and road conditions are assessed by bus operators and NPSSTS staff between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. with a decision made by 5:45 a.m. Ultimately, the responsibility for the decision lies with the General Manager of the NPSSTS (or designate). Several factors are taken into account, including road maintenance schedules, road closures, road conditions, visibility, temperature, and impending weather conditions.

As stated in our Delays or Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather guideline, student transportation may be cancelled due to any of the following conditions:

  • Visibility is reduced to less than 100 m.
  • Road conditions are unsafe for travel.
  • The temperature is less than -35° Celsius or -40 with the wind chill factor.
  • Severe weather is expected in the area within the next 10 hours.

The decision whether or not to cancel transportation is never taken lightly. In assessing the situation, we strive to ensure that neither academic studies nor student safety is compromised. In this vein, we will neither send the buses on the road if it is clearly hazardous to do so nor cancel buses when it is not clearly necessary to do so. Obviously, some inclement weather days are clearer than others and conditions sometimes change after the decision is made.

How do I find out if my school bus is cancelled in the morning?

You can check online or listen to the radio for cancellation announcements. However, you need to know your weather corridor first. The search feature on our Delays and Cancellations page allows you to determine or confirm your corridor, using your route number. If you don't know your route number, please check through the Student Login.

Corridor cancellations will be posted to our Delays and Cancellations page shortly after the decision is made (by about 6:30 a.m., barring any unforeseen circumstances). Notice is also provided to the following local media outlets for the purpose of public broadcast:
600 AM CKAT
1090 AM Radio-Canada (Mattawa)
1240 AM CBC Radio One (Mattawa)
1340 AM CBC Radio One (Temagami)
95.1 FM (Radio-Canada)
95.7 FM (Rock 95)
96.1 FM CBC Radio One
99.3 FM The Moose (West Nipissing)
100.5 FM (EZ Rock)
101.9 FM (The Fox)
103.3 FM (The Moose: Parry Sound)
103.5 FM KFM (Christian radio: North Bay)
104.1 FM (The Dock)
105.5 FM CFBK
106.3 FM (The Moose: North Bay)
107.5 FM (Kool FM)
CBC Radio One Sudbury affiliated stations (96.1 FM and 107.7 FM)
CBC Radio One Toronto affiliated stations (89.9 FM and 94.3 FM)

For a list of stations by region and other handy Inclement Weather information, please see the pamphlets available on our Delays and Cancellations page.

Sometimes individual routes are cancelled, independent of any full corridor cancellations. In these situations, operators attempt to advise affected families by phone. The information will also be posted on our Delays and Cancellations page as soon as it is received by NPSSTS staff.

When transportation is cancelled in the morning, it will not be provided in the afternoon. All cancellations, whether by corridor or by individual route, are effective for the entire day.

Will cancelled buses run in the afternoon?

No, when transportation is cancelled in the morning, it will not be provided in the afternoon. All bus cancellations, whether by corridor or by individual route, are effective for the entire day.

What are weather corridors?

Weather corridors have been established to allow cancellations in some areas while other areas remain operational. Corridors are based on two main factors: historical weather patterns and interdependence of bus routes. Given the interdependence of buses, inclement weather can affect transportation for an entire corridor even when the weather may not seem severe in all areas.

The current weather corridors for our three distinct service regions are:

Nipissing District

  • North Bay
  • West Nipissing
  • East Ferris, Callander and Bonfield
  • Mattawa
  • Highway 63
  • Highway 11 North

West Parry Sound

  • Ahmic Harbour, McDougall, and Whitestone
  • Britt and Nobel
  • MacTier, Rosseau, and Humphrey
  • Town of Parry Sound

East Parry Sound

  •  All of East Parry Sound is one corridor at this time

What if weather worsens during the school day?

Impending weather conditions are a factor in the morning cancellation decisions: storms expected to coincide with afternoon bus runs may result in a full-day cancellation of service. However, if the forecast seems to allow for both morning and afternoon runs, service will proceed as usual and conditions will continue to be monitored. There are contingency plans in place, should weather conditions worsen during the school day to the point where afternoon transportation would be affected. Parents/guardians will be contacted if transportation is being altered as part of these plans.

How do I know if my school bus is delayed?

You can check online. However, you need to know your bus route number first, and you may also need to know your weather corridor.

All delays of 15 minutes or more are posted online as soon as the information is received by NPSSTS staff. Operators also attempt to advise affected families by phone when there is a significant delay.

NPSSTS staff only advise the media of delays when a significant number of routes are affected, such as with a highway closure or a full corridor delay. Corridors are rarely delayed, given that the conditions leading to potential delays (i.e. visibility or road conditions) are more likely to warrant a cancellation.

My bus was delayed, but it wasn’t listed online

All delays of 15 minutes or more are posted online as soon as the information is received by NPSSTS staff. However, our receipt of the information is dependent on drivers notifying their dispatch and the operators subsequently notifying our office.

If the delay you experienced was greater than 15 minutes and was not posted online, please contact the NPSSTS (preferably by e-mail) with details (i.e. your route number, time of delay, etc.) so that we may conduct an investigation.

About our Organization

How do I reach the NPSSTS?

  • by phone from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all school days, at 705-472-8840;
  • by phone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all other business days (8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the summer), at 705-472-8840;
  • in person from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (4 p.m. during the summer) on all business days;
  • through the Write to Us feature on the Contact page of our website;
  • by e-mail to info@npssts.ca;
  • by regular mail to:
    685 Bloem Street
    Suite 201
    North Bay, ON
    P1B 4Z5

Some general guidelines to maximize your communication efforts:

  • If you wish to arrange transportation, please submit the required information through your school. If you need to make changes to an elementary student's file during the summer, please contact the school board office.
  • If you wish to make a formal complaint about any aspect of student transportation, please do so in writing, via e-mail, regular mail, or fax.
  • If you are looking for information on eligibility or details of individual transportation arrangements, please consult our website or ask for assistance from your school or our office.
  • If you are inquiring about a particular student or bus route, please include those details in your message. Don't forget a phone number where we can reach you.

How I do get an answer to my question if I don’t see it listed here?

Please contact us by phone (705-472-8840) or e-mail (info@npssts.ca). We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

What do the NPSSTS do? Are you the bus company?

We are not a transportation operator. Our role is to manage and coordinate transportation services for our member boards. In this role, we maintain transportation-related student data for all students of all of the boards we service (approximately 19 500 student records), arrange transportation based on that data (including planning the necessary routes), supply route descriptions including student lists to the operators, and coordinate payment for services provided. In total, approximately 13 500 students are transported daily using over 400 routes travelling across nearly 28 000 km. We also monitor all safety issues that relate to student transportation, including school bus safety training and programs, and facilitate the resolution of complaints related to student transportation.

What is the NPSSTS?

NPSSTS stands for Nipissing-Parry Sound Student Transportation Services. We are a consortium governed by a Board of Directors made up of a representative from each of our four local member school boards (Near North District School Board, Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l'Ontario, and Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord). We arrange transportation services for students of these boards and apply any harmonized guidelines for the provision of services to all students.

The NPSSTS consortium was created in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. The Ontario Ministry of Education has since mandated that student transportation be coordinated through consortia, rather than through individual school boards, as a method of streamlining operations.

 
 

 

The Nipissing-Parry Sound Student Transportation Services is committed to supporting an inclusive and accessible environment.
Please ask us how we may help you by contacting us by telephone at 705-472-8840 or via email at: accessibility@npssts.ca