Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region and the School Boards recognize that although the Education Act places no mandatory responsibility on a Board to provide transportation for students, there may be existing conditions which warrant transportation for certain pupils.

Based on the eligibility policy of the Board where the student attends school, STSWR will arrange transportation to/from the student’s primary address unless otherwise notified by the school.

The Education Act

The Education Act, section 190 (1) Transportation of Pupils states that:

A Board may provide for,

  1. a resident pupil of the Board who is enrolled in a school that the Board operates, or in a school operated by another Board to which the Board pays fees in respect of such pupil;
  2. a pupil in respect of whom the Minister pays the cost of education under the regulations; and
  3. a child over two years of age who may, under the regulations, be admitted to a program for hearing-handicapped children, transportation to and from the school that the pupil attends.


Only students (resident) or students in approved designated areas, registered and attending a school operated by one of the Waterloo District School Boards may be eligible for transportation, except where otherwise authorized by a Director of Education or designate.

Transportation may be provided to students because of:

  1. distance from school;
  2. hazardous walking conditions;
  3. special needs; or
  4. where a student has become temporarily non-ambulatory

While there may be other medical conditions which exist, it is the responsibility of parents to transport students who would not normally be eligible for transportation.


Distance to School

The following distance guidelines shall generally be used to determine transportation eligibility:

A) For students living in urban municipalities and established settlement areas, transportation may be provided to students living beyond the following distance to their assigned school:

Waterloo Region District School Board


Junior and Senior Kindergarten 0.8 km
1 – 8 1.6 km
9 – 12 3.2 km

Waterloo Catholic District School Board


Junior Kindergarten – Grade 3 0.8 km
4 – 8 1.6 km
9 – 12 3.2 km

Transportation measurements will be calculated based on the shortest distance by road, path or walkway from the corner of the property to closest access point to the school property or bus stop, and can be subject to reasonable flexibility beyond the guidelines.

This flexibility is not to exceed 200 metres.

B) For students living in rural areas outside urban municipalities and established settlement areas, transportation will be provided to all students in a manner deemed safe and appropriate by STSWR.

C) In some cases, transportation may be required due to hazards that preclude a safe walking route to school.

Conditions considered are:

  • the presence or absence of traffic lights and crossing guards;
  • the availability of walkways and sidewalks along major thoroughfares;
  • sight lines at crossing points; and
  • the presence or lack of protective barriers which may result in walking distances exceeding Board policy.

D) Circumstances may arise where transportation can be withdrawn.

  • Violations of the student code of conduct;
  • changes to distance guidelines; and/or
  • changes to identified hazards/exceptions.