The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) is responsible for the management and administration of all home to school transportation on behalf of the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB).
Yellow school bus transportation is provided to students depending on their grade level and the distance from their home or caregiver to the school within that boundary. Certain high school students with access to public transit (OC Transpo) will be provided with passes or tickets for the months of September to June.
Eligibility for yellow school bus transportation
Transportation is provided for students who reside (or caregiver resides) within the following distances from their school. If the residential or caregiver address is less than the designated distances detailed below, then the student falls within the walkzone to their school, and transportation will not be provided. Transportation is not provided for students attending schools outside of their regular attendance boundary.
NEW! Variable transportation for students with two homesThe Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) has a new policy and procedure to deliver transportation services to students in a joint custody arrangement and having two homes. Both homes must be within the attendance boundary and eligible for transportation. A formal application process requires that both parents and/or guardians sign the application and provide a schedule. Read more about variable transportation.
Applying for an empty seat on a bus
Where school bus routes have been established and there are empty seats on a bus, students may be provided transportation even though they reside in the designated walkzone. School principals authorize and assign empty seat requests for their students, after receiving a completed Empty Seat (Seat Availability) application form.
Transportation for ESL students
Students who have been identified as requiring English as a Second Language (ESL) assistance and do not meet regular entitlement requirements may apply for transportation service. Grade 7 and 8 students approved for such service will normally receive taxi or small vehicle transportation, and students in Grades 9 through 12 would receive approval for public transit (OC Transpo) transportation services. Should the student reside in an area not serviced by the public transit authority, small vehicle transportation may be provided. All requests for ESL transportation require the proper documentation, including any subsequent changes in transportation arrangements. A Request for Special Transportation form must be completed by a school official.
Transportation for students with special needs
Students with physical or mental disabilities may be eligible for transportation as approved by the OCSB's Student Services Department. Proper documentation is necessary to initiate special transportation, including any subsequent address or time changes. A Request for Special Transportation form must be completed by a school official and forwarded to Student Services for consideration and approval. Once approved, the form is received by OSTA where transportation will be arranged, and the designated taxi / van operator will contact parents directly with the arrangements and effective date.