Walking School Bus Pilot Program

If your child walks to school, they can now join up with some friends and a trained leader to accompany them to school….. The Walking School Bus (WSB) is designed to promote active transportation and healthy living. Students walk to school with a group of up to 10 peers and a professional leader, following a specific route and schedule.

Similar to an adult crossing guard, each WSB has a paid leader who has been trained by the Ottawa Safety Council, screened and first-aid certified to walk with your child to school.

They follow a specific route and schedule which has been approved by OSTA and its partners. Walking to school is a safe, convenient, healthy and fun way for your child to travel to school with their friends. It helps them get the daily physical activity they need to be healthy and concentrate better at school.

OSTA’s Walking School Bus (WSB) program is offered at 9 Ottawa schools. These schools have been selected for their demonstrated commitment to promoting walking to school. The WSB operates every school day in the morning at the schools listed below.

Existing WSB/Hybrid WSB students can register from June 1st to June 14th, 2021, for the 2021-2022 school year.
New students can register for the WSB/Hybrid WSB from June 15th to Aug 20th, 2021 for the 2021-2022 school year.

SchoolWalking School Bus Schedule
Connaught PESView route and stops
Convent Glen CESView route and stops
Devonshire Community PESView route and stops
Elmdale PESView route and stops
Half Moon Bay PESView route and stops
Robert Bateman PESView route and stops
Roch CarrierView route and stops
St Benedict CESView route and stops
Woodroffe Avenue PESView route and stops

Before registering for the WSB, please review the following documents:

Walking School Bus Leader walking with children

Please contact OSTA at wsb@ottawaschoolbus.ca if you require a paper copy of the form.

Completing the application online does not guarantee a space for your child. Space is limited and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. When the first 10 spaces on your route have been filled, a waiting list will be created. Please notify OSTA by email at wsb@ottawaschoolbus.ca in order to withdraw your child from the HWSB list.

More information about the WSB

  • The route at your school has been established by OSTA in consultation with the other partners. The total travel time from the start of the route to school is no more than 30 minutes and the WSB will arrive no later than 5 minutes before the bell.
  • Students using mobility aids may also join, however, a barrier-free route cannot be guaranteed. For children with life-threatening medical conditions, leaders will only be able to provide basic first aid care in an emergency.
  • Your child can join at the stop closest to your home or anywhere along the route. Please arrive a few minutes before the scheduled time. The WSB will not wait for late arrivals and door-to-door or other special stops will not be offered.
  • Children are not permitted to bring their bike, scooter, or roller blades while participating in the Walking School Bus program.
  • The WSB will operate in all weather conditions including days when the yellow school buses are cancelled. It may be cancelled in the case of freezing rain or other extreme weather events. Parents will be notified no later than 30 minutes before their WSB is scheduled to start.

New School Active Transportation Network and Charter The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) joined with its member school Boards (OCSB and OCDSB) to sign a School Active Transportation Charter in October 2013. This represents the first step towards the creation of a new School Active Transportation Support Network that will strengthen collaboration with the City of Ottawa and Green Communities Canada to support active travel initiatives (walking, cycling, skateboarding etc.) while making the journey to and from school safer and more convenient for more families. This is part of a cross-Canada movement dedicated to children’s mobility, health, and happiness.

WSB Poster

School Active Transportation Charter

Click on School Active Transportation Charter to enlarge
Student Active Transportation Charter

SAT Charter Ceremony 3Students Jamie McWilliam (left) and Sasha Rogers share stories about why they like to walk to school during the signing ceremony for Ottawa’s active school travel charter.
SAT Charter Ceremony 2
From left to right: Julian Hanlon, OCSB Director of Education; Mark Mullan, OCSB Chairperson; Vicky Kyriaco, OSTA General Manager; Jennifer McKenzie, OCDSB Chairperson; Walter Piovesan, OCDSB Associate Director of Education; Michael Carson, OCDSB Chief Financial Officer.



Did you Know?

Did you know that walking to school improves students’ health and ability to learn?

clockStudies show that children need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day in order to maintain a healthy weight and to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Schools have also reported that students who exercise in the morning before class tend to improve their grades and be more alert and ready to learn throughout the day. Students who have participated in Green Community Canada-area schools say they enjoy connecting with their friends and parents in the morning and generally feel better all around and are more aware of their communities.

Helpful resources

WSB partners

The innovative Walking School Bus Program is a partnership between OSTA, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Safety Council and Green Communities Canada.

Ottawa Public Health LogoOttawa Safety Council Logo

Green Communities Canada Logo

Safer Roads Ottawa Logo

OCDSB and OCSB Logos