School bus operators and bus drivers must abide by the terms and conditions defined in the Bus Operator’s Contract. Failure to abide by this procedure may result in STSWR terminating the contract and seeking services from other carriers.
Bus Operator Responsibilities
Bus Operators shall:
- Adhere to the transportation policies and procedures set out by STSWR.
- Provide training to dispatch and bus drivers which is in keeping with the above, including outlining related procedures in the driver manual.
- Use route information and route copy as provided by STSWR via BusPlanner web.
- Provide bus drivers route copy and ensure that drivers adhere to the schedule as provided.
- Ensure that each driver(s) and replacement driver(s):
- Do not change bus routes or stops without prior approval by STSWR, except in emergency situations.
- Report any dangerous situations such as unsafe stops, difficult turn-around, detours etc. to the dispatcher.
- Report on BusPlanner web immediately in the event of a delay of 10 minutes or more. Contact parents and/or guardians by phone when delays will exceed 20 minutes.
- Contact the school principal and STSWR immediately in the event of a serious accident or incident.
- Not accept any requests from a parents/guardians or schools with respect to custom or special transportation arrangements and direct the parents/guardians to STSWR to request change to the transportation arrangement.
- Ensure that all specifications set out by the Ministry of Transportation, related sections of the Highway Traffic Act and any other related legislative components are upheld.
- Ensure all drivers maintain a valid class license in good standing in accordance with the Ministry of Transportation and conduct audits to ensure compliance and current First Aid certification.
- Κeep vehicles maintained to Ministry standards, clean and in good working order and not put a vehicle into service that is not compliant.
- Submit documentation to STSWR as requested, which may include, but is not limited to, detailed fleet information, driver training records, proof of license for bus drivers, insurance certificate, CVOR number.
- Audit bus driver performance periodically or at the request of STSWR to ensure that the bus driver is adhering to route
performance as set out by STSWR.
- Provide on-going professional development to bus drivers with respect to safe driving and/or customer service and will comply with any mandatory training requirements as set out by the Ministry of Transportation or Ministry of Education.
- Work cooperatively with the principal, parents/guardians and STSWR when disputes or problems arise.
- Develop, design and implement driver recruitment and retention programs to support business continuity.
Maintain confidentiality in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Procedure
- Provide training to the drivers about why they should not let the school bus idle under any circumstances.
Bus Driver Responsibilities
Bus Drivers shall:
- Obey all rules and regulations of the Highway Traffic Act at all times.
- Adhere to the bus schedules that have been established by STSWR.
- Pick up and drop off students only at the bus stops designated by STSWR.
- Follow the routes that have been planned and approved by STSWR. Bus drivers are not authorized to make changes in the routes, except in unavoidable situations. Route deviations must be reported to the dispatcher immediately.
- Make suggestions to STSWR concerning bus route changes through their operator. No changes can occur until approved by STSWR.
- Notify STSWR through their operator about any unsafe bus stops and suggest a more appropriate alternative. No changes can occur until an alternative or new location is approved by STSWR.
- Complete Student Ridership in the designated format, on the date requested by STSWR.
- Ensure that students are never left alone on a school bus at any time, including when boarding in the afternoon.
- Advise STSWR through their operator if the number of passengers on their bus exceeds the number of seats.
- Refuse to allow any unauthorized persons to board the vehicle and report any incidents of unauthorized persons attempting to board the vehicle to your dispatcher immediately. Record and accept students going to the same school and follow-up with the school.
- Check at the end of each trip to ensure that no students or personal objects have been left on the bus. Notify your dispatcher immediately of anything that was left on the bus.
- Keep the vehicles clean and free of any hazards.
- Use an appropriate tone of voice and vocabulary when speaking to students.
- Refrain from shouting, swearing or using offensive and aggressive language.
- Allow the students aboard the vehicle to speak to each other in the language of their choice.
- Ensure that all the students are informed about the bus safety rules.
- Cooperate with the principal when establishing a seating plan for the bus.
- Notify the school principal in writing about any inappropriate or unsafe behaviour by students using Report on Pupil Misconduct on Bus (Red Book) or on the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form. From the misconduct book, the white copy goes to the principal, yellow copy goes to transportation (via operator) and pink copy goes to operator.
- Support any disciplinary action on the bus as assigned by the principal.
- Deal with an immediate discipline issue on the bus by assigning a designated seat. Follow up by advising the principal.
- Not allow the photography of students unless approved by the principal or STSWR.
- Give students a signal to indicate when it is safe to cross the street and wait for the student(s) to finish crossing before deactivating the crossing gate and stop arm.
- Check the convex rear view mirrors and ensure that all areas are clear before moving the vehicle.
- Ensure that students remain seated until the bus comes to a full and complete stop at its destination.
- Avoid stopping and/ or starting abruptly.
- Never leave the vehicle when the motor is running (other than to operate the wheelchair lift).
- Notify the dispatcher in the event of a breakdown or an emergency.
- Refrain from smoking,vaping, drinking alcohol, or using illegal substances on or near school buses.
- There should be no contact with students (including their backpack) except in emergency situations.
- Contact dispatch before dropping off a primary student if there are any safety concerns.
- Ensure that JK and SK students are not released from the bus unless a parent/guardian or appropriate aged sibling comes to the door of the bus and asks for child by name.
- In the event of an accident involving the school bus, follow the procedures outlined in Procedures for Accidents or Incidents.
- Always deliver students to their scheduled destination, even if they display unruly behaviour.
- Not use a cell phone or other personal portable electronic device while operating a school bus or any other vehicle transporting students, including while loading and unloading students, except in an emergency. For the purpose of this policy, an emergency exists if the driver requires immediate assistance to ensure the safety of his/her passengers or to report a dangerous or life threatening situation.
- Maintain confidentiality in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Procedure.
- Should not idle the school bus under any circumstance.