Courtesy/Empty Seat


HWSTS is committed to providing safe, effective and efficient transportation services for eligible students to and from their home school.

In consultation with the school principal/designate and the bus operator, HWSTS is also committed to providing a tool for ineligible students to pursue access to existing school bus service. Access is only available in accordance to the guidelines set by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) and at no cost to the Boards.

The following parameters must be met for a courtesy/empty seat to be permitted:

  • That available space exists on an existing bus route
  • That the student use an existing stop location
  • That transportation is intended for a ride to / from school only

Terms of Service
Courtesy/empty seat riders are subject to the following terms of service:

  • That permission to ride a courtesy/empty seat shall not be considered to constitute a precedent or to establish a right for transportation
  • That permission to ride the school bus may be withdrawn at any time if the seat is needed for an eligible student
  • The permission to ride is granted for no longer than the remainder of the current school year and all requests must be reapplied for annually

NOTE: Courtesy / empty seat applications will not be reviewed or processed by HWSTS staff during the fall start- up period annually until after eligible student ridership has been stabilized. Typically HWSTS will commence the process in late September - early October but final approvals / notifications may not be issued until November.

Please note that at this time the Courtesy / Empty Seat application process varies slightly between the Member Boards. We encourage you to explore the appropriate tab at the bottom of the page for the process forms / details.