The legal framework for student transportation services is provided by The Education Act (“Act”) and the Regulation Respecting Student Transportation (“Regulation”)
This services are to be funded, contracted and organized by the Lester B. Pearson School Board (“Board”).
Under the Act, Sections 4, 188, 291 to 301 state the rights, powers and duties of the Board. These are further defined in the Student Transportation Policy (“Policy”). The Policy adopted in May 1998 by the Provisional Council and later revised by the Council of Commissioners (“Council”) in March 2004 and more recently in May 2014, established service availability, criteria for eligibility as well as organizational standards and controls.
Under the Act, Sections 454 specify that the Regulation will dictate how the Board will establish its Advisory Committee on Student Transportation (the “Advisory Committee”).
Under the Regulation (Sections 7 to 11), the Advisory Committee is mandated to give its opinion to the Board on the Board’s Student Transportation Organizational Plan.
The Plan is proposed each year, as early as possible before the end of May, by the Board’s Administration to the Advisory Committee in order that they may give its opinion to Council as required by Regulation. Once adopted by Council, it becomes the Board’s course of action in matters related to student transportation in full compliance with the Education Ministry’s “Règles Budgétaires pour le transport scolaire “. School hours and transportation zones are thus set in this Plan to maximize available financial resources and to comply with the Board’s Operating Budget approved by the Council.
The current Policy establishes that, where applicable, free busing will be offered for the following “home to school” distances:
- Kindergartens will walk no further than 800 m to their school;
- Elementary students may walk up to 1600 m to their school;
- Secondary students may walk up to 2400 m to their school.
Using known roadways and pathways, these distances are measured by a computer software called “Geobus”; the only software recognized by the Board for this purpose.
Notwithstanding the above distances, students with physical or sensory disabilities as well as those with cognitive impairments are eligible for transportation. Transportation may also be provided to a student with a temporary disabling health condition for as long as this condition prevails. Medical certificates must support these requests.
The following “home to stop” distances will be used, whenever possible, to minimize the amount of time that our students will spend on the bus:
- Kindergartens will walk no further than 300 m to their bus stop;
- Elementary students may walk up to 400 m to their bus stop;
- Secondary students may walk up to 800 m to their bus stop.
Bus stops are located at intersections of roadways; not at residences. Notwithstanding this statement, “door” stops can be made to respect the “home to stop distances” as described above or for students with special transportation needs. For safety reasons, kindergarten and grade 1 students must be supervised by an adult at the bus stop, morning and afternoon.
The Plan confirms that the optimal capacity for large buses of 60 passengers at the elementary level and 48 passengers at the secondary level will be sought throughout the system.
In all cases where transportation is provided by the Board, for free or for a fee, it will from the same address, five (5) days a week. The morning and afternoon bus locations can be different as long as they are used five (5) days a week and registered as part of the “empty seat” program.
Since 1998 when the Board was created, the Council of Commissioners has adopted Resolutions establishing attendance zones for each school. The boundaries for these zones are defined and detailed in the: “Summary of Attendance Zones”. (this document is available at www.lbpsb.qc.ca).
With this Plan, using these attendance zones as reference and in accordance with Article 4.1.1 of the Policy, the Council of Commissioners adopts Transportation zones where students will benefit from school busing and zones where parents will receive financial compensation for their child’s use of public transportation (STM) to and from school in lieu of school busing.
Accordingly, four (6) types of transportation services and/or entitlements will be offered during the 2016-2017 school year:
1) Free school bus for kindergarten to grade 6 students (regular service);
2) Free school bus for grades 7 and 8 only (“green” service);
3) Free school bus for grades 7 to 11 (“blue” service);
4) Parental allocation ($250 per school year) towards STM expenses
5) Transportation for a fee
6) Free school bus for grades 8 to 11 ("Gray" service)