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Update: OSTA Managing Empty Seats for OCDSB

Last Updated on: 13th April 2017, 11:20 am

OSTA Managing Empty Seats (Seat Availability) for OCDSB as of April 1, 2017.

Where school bus routes have been established and empty seats are available on the bus, students may be provided with transportation even if they reside, or their daycare is located, within their school’s walk zone.  OSTA will be responsible for managing all applications, approvals and assignments for empty seats (courtesy seating) for OCDSB as of 1 April 2017.  The application form and procedures will be available on OSTA’s website on that date.

Students applying for an empty seat after 1 April 2017 for the current school year, should send their forms directly to OSTA via email at emptyseat@ottawaschoolbus.ca, or fax their form to 613-224-8840.  If parents cannot access email or fax, the school will be happy to send your completed form to OSTA on your behalf.  OSTA will process any applications for the current 2016-17 school year as soon as they are received (providing there is room on the bus).

All other parameters remain the same:

1. Annual application process.
2. Any student not eligible for motorized transportation may apply for an empty seat.
3. No new stops, or route changes, will be created.
4. In the case where the number of applications exceeds the number of available seats on the bus, priority will be given:

a. to youngest students at farthest distances
b. to those with challenging daycare issues
c. to siblings of students on the bus or at the same school
d. to students on cross-boundary transfers.

5. Only available on yellow bus.
6. Students on empty seats may be displaced by other eligible students throughout the year.
7. Each student will only be assigned to ONE empty seat.
8. Final seat assignments may be viewed on the Bus Planner Parent Web Portal.

The forms for the 2017-18 school year will be available online as of July 1, 2017.  Empty seats will not be assigned until after October 1 of the school year to allow sufficient time to determine the load counts on school buses and the actual number of empty seats that may be available.  Placing your child on the bus before OSTA can determine if there are enough seats available can cause an overload, leading to risk of injury to your child and other students.  It is critical that your child’s name be on the driver’s manifest in order to keep track of those in our care.