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Transportation FAQ's
 

Frequently asked questions



  1)           What are the changes in the new Student Transportation Policy ?

The previous 2004 version had five sections:

  1. Preamble: defined the legal environment in which student transportation is organized;
  2. Principles: confirmed that the delivery of service is consistent with the Board’s Mission Statement;
  3. Objectives: described the Board’s transportation service priorities;
  4. Stakeholders’ Roles and Responsibilities: define the roles and responsibilities of the Council of Commissioners, Transportation Services, School Administrators, Governing Board, Carriers, the Advisory Committee on Student Transportation and the Parents;
  5. Transportation Organization Standards: define the standards regarding organization and management of school transportation

The “Roles and responsibilities” section is now an Addendum in the policy.  This allows for periodic review of these documents without a full formal review.

Addendum A       Legal Framework       

Addendum B      Student Transportation Organizational Plan

Addendum C      Stakeholders’ Roles and Responsibilities  

Addendum D      School Bus Safety Code of Conduct for Students

Addendum E      Annual Planning Process

The Transportation Policy was approved by the Council of Commissioners following a consultation of its stakeholders and considering the final recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Student Transportation.

2)         What is the Advisory Committee on Student Transportation?  

The Advisory Committee on Student Transportation is composed of:

·         the Director General or the Assistant Director General of the Board or delegate;

·         the person responsible for the student transportation services of the Board;

·         the principal of a school of the Board;

·         a representative of the parents' committee of the Board;

·         two school commissioners of the Board;

·         a representative of the STM, the public transit authority on the Island

·         a representative of the CIT, the public transit authority off-island

The Advisory Committee meets regularly and meetings are open to the public. This Committee provides input into the planning, coordination, financing and administration of the Board’s Student Transportation Organizational Plan.  

3)         What is the Student Transportation Organization Plan?

The Student Transportation Organizational Plan (“The Plan”) is a document prepared by the Board’s Transportation Services. The Plan identifies the availability of services offered to students on any given upcoming school year.

The Plan contains:

  • School Hours / Busing Schedules;
  • Transportation Entitlement;
  • Transportation Zones; 

The Plan is determined on an annual basis, as it is dependent on funding regulations that are usually provided by the Ministry of Education in March or April for the following school year.  Once the financial parameters are known, Administration develops the Plan and it is reviewed by the Advisory Committee on Student Transportation before its adoption by the Council of Commissioners.

Our timeline for creating and adopting the Plan and advising communities of any changes for the coming year must occur between April and May. This timeline is extremely short and realistically inhibits the possibility of a thorough consultation with our stakeholders.

4)         What is the legal framework supporting the Policy?

Education Act:

The Government may, by regulation, establish the composition, mode of operation and functions of the Advisory Committee on Student Transportation.

Regulation respecting Student Transportation

Functions of the Advisory Committee on Student Transportation:

  • A committee shall give its opinion on each issue for which it must make a decision and on each issue submitted to it by the Board.
  • An opinion must be given within 15 days of a request, unless the Board grants the committee a longer period of time.
  • A committee shall give its opinion on the planning, coordination, financing and administration of student transportation.
  • A committee shall give its opinion on the Student Transportation Organization Plan of the Board and on the terms and conditions for the granting of contracts for the transportation of students, before the board adopts that plan or sets the terms and conditions for granting those contracts. 

5)         What is a child allowed to bring on the school bus? 

According to the Regulation respecting road vehicles used for the Transportation of school children (article  46,47,48) the aisle of the school bus must be clear at all time during student transportation. Since our buses are not equipped with self-contained storage compartments inside the bus, children are limited to two (2) small items (size of a school bag) that must be placed on their lap and/or between the legs of the child.

 A school bag, a lunch box, a small instrument in its case or items of a similar size is permitted: maximum 2 items per child. No projects, no sticks, no skate boards.

6)         What is the maximum capacity of a large school bus? 

According to the same Regulation mentioned above, small grade 1 and kindergarten children may sit three (3) to a seat. As a rule two (2) children sit per benches. Large buses are equipped with twelve (12) rows, two (2) benches on each side of the aisle, and hence twenty-four (24) benches. So depending on the number of small children on any given bus the capacity will be from 48 students to a maximum of 72.

7)         Why are parents asked to pay under the “empty seat “program?  

According to the Policy, the few “Empty Seats” remaining in the transportation system are made available to those not eligible.   Parents must apply yearly since the amount of space can vary from year to year.

The fee is set by Council each April in accordance with Article 292 of the Education Act. Regardless of the schools attended, a family will not be asked to pay more than two (2) seats if they have more than two (2) students enrolled in the program.

Occasional request to use an “empty seat” on any given day must be approved by school administration; the driver informed by a staff identifying the child prior to departure. 

8)         How long must we wait at the bus stop, winter or not?

As a rule, students are requested to be at their respective bus stops 10 minutes before their regular scheduled pick-up time.

Still, showing up at a bus stop five minutes ahead of the scheduled time should be sufficient on cold morning. This is to avoid delaying the pick-up of other students.

In addition, these students should be told to return home 15 minutes after their scheduled pick-up time should the bus fail to show up.

This is why parents must make sure that if they leave their child alone at a bus stop, he/she will be able to return home safely if the bus does not show up

9)         Who decides to cancel transportation services in inclement weather?

When there is a big snowstorm, the bus companies contact our Transportation Services as early as 5 am to advise us on the difficulties they may or may not face that day. Ultimately, it is the school board that decides whether or not, it will be a snow day: closing of schools and daycares and transportation services suspended. The school board determines if the schools should be closed based on the condition and safety of the roads for the students as well as its staff.

 Still, if the school board and schools remain open on any given stormy day, it is the carrier and the driver who decides whether to engage on a particular road or not.
During times of inclement weather, buses may be late due to traffic or may be unable to proceed on certain streets; bus route may not be completed as planned.

Parents must also ensure that their child’s school is kept informed of any changes in the emergency contact information they provide to the school. Should schools be closed for the day, parents will be informed via phone through the school board’s messaging system.

Parents will also be informed through a number of local radio and television stations, including:

105.7 Rythme FM

CKOI 96.9 FM

98.5 FM

The Beat 92.5 FM

730 AM

RDI

Radio Canada

CBFT

95.1 FM

CJAD 800 AM

CHOM 97.7 FM

CJFM Virgin Radio 95.9 FM

CTV

Global TV

TVA/LCN

CBC Televison

CBC Radio One 88.5 FM/104.7 FM

   

10)      Why are seatbelts not installed on buses?

Buses are not designed like passenger vehicles. Following several tests under the supervision of Transport Canada, it was determined that seat belt usage resulted in injuries of greater severity.

For more information, visit the following site on the Web:

https://canadasafetycouncil.org/child-safety/there-need-seat-belts-school-buses

11)      What are drivers to do in the event of a medical emergency on the bus?

 

All drivers are required to follow and keep their First Aid Certificate active. They also are all trained to use the Epipen device. All buses are all equipped with two-way radios with a dispatch service able to contact Emergency services.  Since 2012, all our vehicles can be traced with a GPS tracking software.

For more information, consult our website at: https://transportation.lbpsb.qc.ca/


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