The safety of students is always the first consideration when the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) makes the decision to cancel transportation services. OSTA and the Consortium de transport scolaire d’Ottawa have developed joint procedures for school transportation cancellations in the case of inclement weather and/or adverse road conditions. OSTA and Consortium de transport scolaire d’Ottawa staff make the decision to cancel school transportation services based on the the best forecasted weather information available at the time the decisions need to be made, in collaboration with several external sources, and our combined prior experience.
Several times each day, evening and overnight, OSTA staff receive up-to-date information from The Weather Network and Environment Canada regarding weather and road conditions in the City of Ottawa and the surrounding area. When weather or roads appear hazardous, OSTA staff review the weather and road information received. We are in contact with school bus operators, other area school board transportation staff, and municipal roads crews to assist in determining whether school transportation services will proceed or be cancelled for the day. When the joint decision is made to cancel transportation services in the City OSTA staff contact local media outlets, contracted service providers, and school boards to advise them that routes will not operate. Notices of service cancellations will appear on the homepage of this website, as well as on the main page of the websites of our member school boards.
OSTA staff strives to make well-founded decisions regarding cancellation of service to ensure the safety of all children. As we service a large geographical area, weather and road conditions may differ from one area of the jurisdiction to another. Ultimately parents have the right to decide to keep their child at home at any time if they feel that road conditions make it too risky to have him/her transported to school or to transport them to school on days they feel conditions are not severe in their area. When parents feel that students can be safely transported to school in their own area, children should not be driven to school unless they can be safely picked up at the end of their school day.
REMEMBER! Cancellations of transportation services apply to the whole day, although schools remain open for students. Students who use our transportation services should not be driven to school, unless they can also be picked up at the regular dismissal time. Please remember to always dress your child properly for the season, in case inclement weather strikes!
On November 4, 2015, OSTA participated in the Ottawa 67's annual school game day at the Canadian Tire Centre. To futher inform schools of our various Active Transportation programs, Walking School Bus Leaders were on site to help guide students participating in a mock walking school bus. Despite the smaller crowd, the event was a great success! OSTA staff talked to students and educators about the walking school bus and promoted our WSB motto #GetYourWalkOn with silcone bracelets, pencils and a game. OSTA is proud to participate and continue to promote our Active Transportation programs.For more information on the WSB and the Ottawa 67's: