Opt-In or Opt-Out of Transportation (Test)

Have you changed your mind about transportation?

Important note: OSTA no longer asks parents/guardians to confirm their transportation intentions. Instead, we ask that you notify us if you have changed your mind about the use of transportation.

Did you know? You can opt-out or opt-in for morning or afternoons only!

Are you eligible for transportation but not planning on using it? Or perhaps, you have opted out of transportation, but your circumstances have changed, leaving you needing it again. Having parents/guardians notify OSTA of their child(ren)’s intent when they are eligible for services helps OSTA better plan capacity on each vehicle, ensuring that services are available, consistent and reliable for students.

Complete OSTA’s Transportation Issues Form to notify us if your circumstances have changed, affecting your eligible child(ren)’s transportation. Whether you opt out of transportation altogether or want it for the morning or afternoon only, it’s important to keep OSTA informed. Simply complete the form, notifying us of any changes to your transportation. 

Moving? Changing Daycares? It is important to contact the school directly for all address changes to ensure OSTA’s records are up to date. To find your school contact info, please check the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) or Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) website.

Important Notes:

Boy and girl school learners going home after lessons. Children in protective medical masks near school bus.
  • OSTA will NOT be asking parents/guardians to confirm their intentions on whether they plan to use transportation for the 2023/2024 school year.
  • Remember that you can change your mind at any time. If you opt-in and do not need it later, simply opt-out by completing the same form. Vice versa, should you decide that you do not need transportation; however, change your mind at a later date, you can get it back by completing the same form.
  • This is not the empty seat/courtesy program, which is suspended due to the ongoing driver shortage resulting in disruptive long-term and short-term cancellations. This process is for eligible students ONLY (refer to OSTA’s T18-Transportation Eligibility for more information).


Ready to confirm transportation?

Make sure to have your child’s OEN number ready!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Find out more about Opting-In or Opting-Out of Transportation:

Q: When should I inform OSTA if I want to decline transportation?

A: Please complete a Transportation Issues Form immediately to notify us of your decision to decline transportation. If you have information that is important for us to know (e.g., effective date), please include those details in the comments box.

Q: What are my options? Can I decline in the morning or afternoon only?

A: You will have two options:

1)      Decline transportation for the current school year (2022-2023).

2)      Decline transportation for the next school year (2023-2024)

Q: I declined transportation for the current school year (full day, morning or afternoon only). Will I automatically get transportation again next year?

A: OSTA will re-assess your child(ren)’s eligibility for transportation before the next school year, and as long as all terms and conditions are met, they will be re-assigned to transportation. If your child(ren) is not eligible at that time, they will not receive transportation.

Parents/guardians will be able to find information about their child(ren)’s transportation on OSTA’s Parent Portal in mid-August for the upcoming school year.

Q: Can I decline transportation for the upcoming school year?

A: Yes! Simply choose the appropriate school year when completing the Transportation Issues Form.

Q: What happens if my circumstances change and I need transportation again?

A: If you have declined transportation and your circumstances change, leaving you needing transportation again, let OSTA know by sending an email to your school zone.

OSTA will ensure the student is eligible for transportation and that all terms and conditions are met before assigning transportation.

Q: Can I decline transportation if my child is transported from to/from a caregiver’s address?

A: Yes! You can decline transportation, whether the child is transported to/from home or to a caregiver’s address. OSTA does transport students to caregivers whose address is within the designated attendance boundary of the school that meets the distance eligibility requirements.

Q: What should I do if my child lives in a joint custody arrangement and has two homes?

A: OSTA does provide variable transportation services to eligible students who have a joint custody arrangement and whose two homes meet all eligibility requirements. Separate forms are required and must be completed for Joint Custody (variable) Transportation.

If your circumstances change after approval of the joint custody forms, leaving you with not needing transportation, simply decline by completing the transportation issues form.

Refer to OSTA's Variable Transportation for Students in a Joint Custody Arrangement and Having Two Homes for more information, including important application deadline dates.

Q: Where can I check my child(ren)’s transportation?

A: Parents/guardians can find information about their child(ren)'s transportation on OSTA’s Parent Portal.

  • Students assigned to a yellow bus will find the route number, stop location and pick-up/drop-off times.
  • Students on van service will be contacted directly by the driver a day or two before the commencement of the route.
  • Students in grades 7-12 on public transit (OC Transpo) will receive their Presto card from the school.

Transportation information for the next school year, 2023-2024, will be available in the Parent Portal in mid-August 2023.

Q: I do not have access to technology. How do I notify OSTA of my decision to decline transportation?

A: Please contact your child's school as they can submit a form on your behalf.

Q: I want my child to walk and/or roll to school. What resources are available to me?

A: We encourage families to use Active Transportation to get to and from school.

OSTA and its partners have many great resources on School Active Transportation to ensure every student's walk to school is a success. We recommend visiting OSTA's website to get started. We offer pedestrian safety tips, walking route maps and walking school buses for select schools. The benefits of walking to school are endless, from increased health and academic improvements to reducing car emissions and congestion in school zones.

If families plan on driving their children to school, we encourage you to park 5 to 10 mins away and Walk-a-Block instead.

Other resources on Active Transportation: EnviroCentre, Ontario Active School Travel

All student transportation information for 2023-2024 will be made available online, through the OSTA Parent Portal, in mid-August 2023.