Transportation Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the timeline for bus card arrival?
Most students have their bus cards. The remaining bus cards will be distributed within the next week for registered students only.
2. How do I know what bus route I am registered for?
Each student will be registered for the bus route that takes them to and from their home or childcare center. You cannot register for a route that does not connect to your home address or childcare center. If you are not sure what route you are on, school administrators have access to lists and can help you.
3. Can bus drivers refuse to give students a ride if they don't have a bus card or are not registered on a particular route?
Bus drivers do their best to include everyone, particularly in the morning. However, our buses are running at full capacity and non-registered riders cannot be accommodated. Please make other plans for your child.
4. Can my student use the school bus to transport them to extra-curricular activities and social events?
Our system is focused on transporting students from home to school/childcare. Bus transportation to extra curricular activities is not a supported service and only considered in limited circumstances. Families should make alternative arrangements for extra curricular and social activities.
5. I registered my student for a bus pass but they are unlikely to use the bus.
If you are not using a registered route, please email email@example.com to withdraw in order to make space for waitlisted riders.
6. Who do I contact if I have a concern with a bus driver or route?
Please start by contacting your child’s administration who can give you more information about next steps.
Transportation Policy Review
Bus Registration for 2023-24 is currently Closed.
Late Registration will be delayed due to the ongoing processing of current late registration entries. We are experiencing a higher volume of emails and phone messages and are currently processing a backlog of over 250 late registrations. This will take some time as many of our routes are now full. We will post the routes that have availability, at a later date. To avoid these delays please remember to register every year in April for the next school year.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ON POSSIBLE SCHOOL BUS INTERRUPTIONS
Saanich Schools works diligently to provide consistent, predictable bus service to students and their families. Like many organizations in this current labour market, we are experiencing recruitment and replacement challenges in a number of areas. This includes district bus drivers.
To date, we have been able to replace drivers who are absent due to illness ensuring uninterrupted bus service. However, it is important to share with you that while we continue to prioritize consistent bus service, there may be situations beyond our control that result in the need to cancel specific bus routes if we are unable to replace a driver on a particular day.
If any bus routes do need to be cancelled, we will endeavor to communicate by email to affected parents / guardians by 6:15am on the day in question. In addition, we will post a general message to X (formerly Twitter) @sd63schools and on our Saanich Schools website.
Parents / guardians are asked to check their email and the school district website for any updates to bus schedules. Please consider developing alternate transportation plans for your child if we are unable to provide bus service on your route.
Thank you for your understanding.
Gord Bridges Transportation Manager
Bus Registration for 2023-24 is currently Closed.
Students must be registered to ride on the bus each year. You will need the following to Register:
- Parent/Guardian Full name
- Home Address
- Contact Phone #
- Contact Email
- Student Name
- School Attending
- Pupil #
- AM Route #
- PM Route #
Please read our Bus Code of Conduct to make sure everyone has a safe and relaxing ride to school.
Yes, all riders from K to 12 need to register. It is a government requirement to have a passenger list for each bus.
Ask your student if they know their number. It is the number used to log on school computers and on report cards. Please DO NOT provide student Personal Education Number (PEN) which is generally 9-digits. If unknown please contact their school.
No, but please only register your child if busing is required.
Yes, all students that register for transportation will receive a bus pass at their school. Students are required to have the bus pass with them each day to tap the pad on and off the bus.
The first bus pass each year is free.
There is a ten-dollar replacement fee for lost or damaged cards. Students need to report their lost card to the school office. They will be issued a temporary pass until their new bus pass is available at the office.
Do not alter the bus pass in any way as this will deactivate the bar code. Things that have deactivated the cards are: making a larger hole for lanyard, cutting or rounding the corners, and teeth marks. 😊
Only call the Transportation office if your student is registered on an accessibility bus, or your child is the only stop out of the way.
Following the advice and direction from the government, only those registered and assigned to the bus are allowed on the bus at this time until further notice.
In accordance with MVA regulations, school bus drivers CANNOT transport items other than a regular backpack which can fit comfortably on the student’s lap without extending into the space of others or into the aisle. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to the following:
- Guitars, trombones, tenor and baritone saxophones
- Drums, cellos and other large instruments
- Hockey sticks and equipment
- Lacrosse sticks
- Baseball bats
- Skateboards (long and regular boards)
- Large school projects that will not fit on a student’s lap
- Regular sized back packs or bags that sit comfortably on a student’s lap
- Small band instruments such as flutes, trumpets, alto saxophone and other instruments up to that size.
- Sport balls that fit into a backpack
- The SD63 Transportation Department has a responsibility to transport students to and from their schools safely. We appreciate your support in maintaining a safe environment for your child’s ride to school.
Items left on the bus will be available on the bus for students to retrieve the next day. Cell phones and other valuables will be brought into the Transportation office each day. Please call the Transportation office to arrange collection.;
Students should be at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive. Parents meeting their child after school at a secluded stop need to be there at least five minutes early.
We do not have the technology at this time to notify parents and students if the bus is running late. For long delays we will do our best to get communication out through our social media pages.
All buses complete their run, even if they are late.
Call the Transportation office (250) 652-7343
Students attending schools within their catchment area and living beyond the established walk limits are eligible for bus service. The established walk limits are: 4.0 km for students attending Elementary Schools/4.8 km for students attending Secondary Schools. Transportation for students attending school of choice (out of catchment) or program of choice (French Immersion) or living within the walk limits are all referred to as Courtesy Riders and may be granted riding privileges provided there is space available on existing routes. Routes will not be altered to service courtesy riders.
Registration usually closes in late June. It will reopen sometime in late July to early August to accommodate late registrations. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee availability on any bus route at this time.
No, the driver is not allowed to add stops on the route. Please send all bus stop requests to firstname.lastname@example.org and cross street or a street address near your request. Transportation will notify you if the request is possible. This can take a few days. Thank you for your understanding
The tap system on the bus allows Transportation Staff to find students who get on the wrong bus or do not get off the bus at their appropriate stop.