Policy on Bus Routes and Stops

Transportation Information

Bus routes and the location of stops are pre-determined for each neighbourhood and are not based on the home address of each student. Master Bus stops are established to allow for an efficient and safe transportation system. Each summer, master bus stops are reviewed and adjusted for new housing or changes to traffic patterns or new roads. Individual bus stops from the master bus stop map will be activated or de-activated each year based on the ridership of each bus route.

The location of individual bus stops will seldom be modified during a school year unless an obvious safety concern was overlooked. Bus stop locations will not be changed for convenience, to reduce walking distance to and from a residence or to allow a bus stop to be viewed from a specific residence. Where possible, the walking distance to/from a bus stop will be kept at or below 0.5 km.

Parents are responsible for their child or children until they board the Yellow Bus and following the unloading at their designated stop in the afternoon. It is expected that younger students will be accompanied by an adult or older sibling or friends to and from the bus stop, especially at the start of the school year.

Parents may request that the location of a bus stop be reviewed by completing a Yellow Bus Transportation Inquiry Form. The form will provide the necessary information for the District Transportation Contractor to conduct such reviews. Sparksman Transportation, the School or the Catholic Education Centre will not accept any request by phone.

The joint student transportation policy of the Fort McMurray Public School Division and the Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Education mandates that Bus routes, schedules and stops shall be established based on the following criteria:

  • Bus scheduling and routing should be designed to optimize service at a reasonable cost;
  • Routes, schedules and stops will ensure student safety;
  • Routes will be established within each school’s attendance area;
  • New routes will be established only when full capacity of the existing route has been reached or is imminent;
  • Whenever possible, ride times for students should be 50 minutes or less. In exceptional circumstances this may be extended to 60 minutes.
  • Wherever possible, yellow buses will serve two routes, both in the morning and the afternoon; and
  • Students will be picked up and dropped off at a designated stop. The location of stops shall be determined using the following criteria:
    • The distance between bus stops shall be no less than 0.4 km
    • The walking distance from any residence to a designated bus stop should be 0.5 km or less;
    • No bus stops will be located less than 1.0 km from the designated school for that route;
    • The same bus stops shall be used for all yellow bus routes serving the same neighbourhood;
    • The number of bus stops shall be minimized in order to reduce the length of the bus ride as much as possible.
    • Except for special needs transportation, students will not be picked-up or dropped-off at their residence. Designated stop shall be used.