Pandemic Transportation Information and Updates

Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay serves the busing needs of Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique des Aurores Boréales, Lakehead District School Board and Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have been attentive to, and collaborated with Ontario’s Provincial Government, the Ministry of Education, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, our three School Boards and our two local school bus operators as we worked toward a plan to to ensure the safety of our students and drivers during the upcoming school year. Many options were explored as we moved through this process in recent months.


We understand every family has a different comfort level when it comes to the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you do not intend to use the school bus at the start of the school year or if you have alternate means for transporting your child to and from school and would be willing to remove your child from transportation to allow more space for students have no other means, please fill out this opt-out form. This will also assist with the necessity to create seating plans for contact-tracing purposes. If you require transportation in the future, you will have to reapply.


STSTB Return to Transportation Plan (PDF Download)

STSTB Plan de rétablissement du transport (Télécharger la version PDF)
PÉNURIE DE CONDUCTEURS (Télécharger la version PDF)

When the Government of Ontario recently decided that our local school boards would resume school 5 days a week and that in order to support this, we may be required to increase the utilization of buses to operate closer to capacity, STSTB began to plan accordingly. The Ministry of Education along with the Medical Officer of Health set out guidelines for our School Boards and STSTB to follow to provide busing for those families wishing to use it.

At its core, these guidelines include the following:

  • Non-medical masks required for Grade 4-12, and recommended for K-3
  • Medical masks and eye protection provided for school bus drivers
  • A twice daily anti-viral treatment for high touch surfaces in the bus
  • Assigned seating with siblings sitting together for contact tracing.
  • Bus windows will be open for ventilation, where possible

What can bus riding students expect?

  • The bus route will not change due to the pandemic
  • They will not get to choose their seat – it will be assigned
  • Students must be masked properly (Grade 4-12)
  • Fewer students than in prior years will be on the bus
  • Rules around staying seated, masks and behaviour will be closely managed.
  • Families must not put students on the bus if they are ill.
  • Loading and unloading will take more time
  • Students must physically distance at the bus stop.
  • Windows will be open, when possible

What can families expect?

  • Prior to the pandemic drivers were in short supply and there may be times when a driver is unable to operate their route. Runs may be delayed getting to the school or stop. Runs may be cancelled if a replacement driver is not available. Families should be prepared to provide alternate means of transportation should this occur.
  • Drivers will self-screen for illness before operating the bus

Additional Resources


Students who walk (or bike, or skateboard, or scooter ride) to their school gain so many benefits from this daily physical activity. Click Here to check out some of our resources to help families plan their active route to school. For those who live a little farther away from school, parking just a five to ten minute walk away from the school can help ease congestion around the school and provide families with an opportunity to get a few minutes of extra exercise while making it easier for everyone to stay physically distant.

We realize that each family and individual will hold a different comfort level as it relates to riding the bus and we fully respect this. Our commitment is to be transparent with families regarding our service, and to adhere to the guidelines required by the Government of Ontario. The pandemic environment, pandemic science and our operating environment remain subject to change and we encourage you to check our page and follow our social media channels for updates. Similarly, your School Board will offer important communications as we approach and progress through the 2020-2021 school year.

Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay is a student transportation consortium of these 3 school boards:

Copyright © Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay

Suite 2001, 715 Hewitson St. Thunder Bay, ON. P7B 6B5 • Phone: (807) 625-1660 • Fax: (807) 622-5818