Bus Eligibility


Responsibility for getting to and from school rests primarily with the student and parents or guardians. The Education Act states that a board may provide transportation for pupils enrolled in schools operated by the Board. Transportation to and from school is provided to students is a privilege and not a right. The HWSTS Member Boards' Transportation Policies set out the terms and conditions under which the Boards may provide transportation.

HWSTS utilizes current student data from our Member Boards (generally 1 business day turnaround), established school boundaries, an up to date electronic map and approved transportation policy parameters from our Member Boards as the foundation for determining eligibility for student transportation services. Student information for the Boards is maintained at the school level; making it critical for parents / guardians to ensure their school has the most up to date information regarding their student and residence.

As part of our data integrity process the student information is imported into our highly customized, GIS-based routing and scheduling software which in turn applies the Member Board policy parameters to determine which students are eligible for service. HWSTS staff utilize the software tool and their expertise to develop, maintain and enhance routing solutions to service schools across the district in a safe, effective and efficient manner. All current routing information is also made available electronically to our school bus service providers and school administration to ensure these key stakeholders have access to up to date route information at all times.

During the annual service planning project, HWSTS currently sends out letters to all non-special needs students who are identified as eligible for transportation service in early August. These letters contain service details such as bus route number, stop location and pick-up & drop-off times. Students who do not meet the eligibility requirements for service are not included in the annual HWSTS routing solution plan for the Member Boards and will not receive any communication regarding service.

The HWSTS staff are always pleased to review eligibility based inquiries; feel free to contact our offices throughout the year. We also recognize that sometimes it may be more convenient for you to do some research on school catchment and distance to schools independently. It is our pleasure to provide online tools for you to investigate the school catchment associated with residence location(s) as well as the approximate distance to that school with user-friendly tools available via the links below.

PLEASE NOTE: These tools are provided for information purposes only. Efforts are taken to ensure the information provided by these tools is as accurate as possible, however we cannot guarantee it is correct. Website users should always contact HWSTS to verify all information before acting on it. In the case of any discrepancies, the HWSTS routing software data will be considered the final authority.