Service - Accessible Transportation


HWSTS is committed to the accommodation of persons with disabilities in our student transportation operations. We've further demonstrated that commitment by ensuring accessibility throughout our office location.

In compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 HWSTS makes all efforts to provide integrated school transportation available for all students eligible for service. Where integrated school transportation is not possible or is not the best option, HWSTS provides appropriate alternative accessible transportation for students with disabilities. We implement this approach tangibly by utilizing our electronic routing software to examine all available fleet resources and to explore a wide variety of routing solutions to seek out efficient and effective transportation solutions for students.

To ensure we can provide specialized transportation services when required by students, HWSTS maintains service agreements with a number of service providers that include accessible vehicles in their fleet. These service providers also maintain in-depth training programs for their drivers and their dispatching staff are accustomed to the unique situations that sometimes arise in the provision special needs service.

HWSTS staff also regularly liaises and consults with school staff, parents and the Special Needs departments at both of our Member Boards to ensure we understand the current needs of our special needs students and that we are providing appropriate service.

Comprehensive procedures that include collaboration between our Member Boards, HWSTS staff and our independently contracted service providers ensure appropriate service for all students. Accessible student transportation by HWSTS incorporates three key planning elements:

  • Identification of students with disabilities by Member Boards
  • Development of Individual School Transportation Plan (ISTP); including boarding / securement and deboarding in collaboration with Member Boards
  • Communication of ISTP

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders involved in accessible student transportation planning creates accountability. The following table is provided to assist with understanding:

Parent / Guardian Advocate for student
  • Provide School Board accurate information regarding student needs including medical or other
  • conditions that may affect safe transportation of student
  • Help identify tools or strategies that may help driver while transporting student
  • Maintain accurate student and residence information with School Board and HWSTS; notify School Board if student needs change
  • Understand ISTP and support student
  • Notify School Board / HWSTS of any concerns or emergency health issues or concerns that affect transportation
School Board Service Requestor
  • Communicate with parent / guardian regarding student needs and ISTP
  • Provide HWSTS accurate information regarding student needs and transportation requirements
  • Help identify tools or strategies that may help driver while transporting student
  • Prepare ISTP and submit request to HWSTS
HWSTS Service Coordinator
  • Maintain accurate routing data and ISTP records
  • Contract service providers
  • Coordinate ISTP rollout and communicate plan with service provider
Independently Contracted Operator Service Provider
  • Ensure availability of safe, maintained, accessible vehicles as required
  • Provide competent, trained staff to transport students with disabilities
  • Communicate ISTP details with driver(s) including boarding, securement and deboarding
  • Ensure on-time, safe transportation in accordance with ISTP, follow HWSTS / School Board procedures
  • Communicate any issues with ISTP service with HWSTS immediately
Student Service Recipient
  • Ensure behaviour during transportation aligns with acceptable classroom behaviour; follow bus rules
  • Cooperate with driver to assist with safe transport
  • Notify driver / parent / guardian / teacher of any concerns or emergency health issues or concerns that arise during transportation immediately

If you have any questions about HWSTS service, do not hesitate to contact our offices.