newChanges to OCSB process - OSTA will be approving all OCSB Seat Availability Applications starting October 2016.

Where school bus routes have been established and there are empty seats on a bus, students may be provided transportation even though their distance from the school is within walking distance. OCDSB School principals  and OSTA representatives for OCSBauthorize and assign empty seat requests for their students, after recieving a completed Empty Seat Application form. When assigning students to empty seats, approval is based on knowledge of the family situation as well as consideration of the following criteria:

  • Grade level (priority given to younger Kindergarten students);
  • Distance from school (furthest to closest);
  • Special needs and/or compassionate grounds;
  • Child care / daycare provider needs;
  • Date of the application; and
  • Siblings attending the same school.

Parents/guardians must first complete and sign the Empty Seat Application Form. Each application should be submitted as indicated on the bottom of the form and kept on file until they can be reviewed. Parents will receive notification either from their child's school (OCDSB) or OSTA (for OCSB) after October 1 regarding the approval or denial. 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. Students approved under this provision will ride the school bus on a courtesy and space available basis for the current school year only. Students assigned under the empty seat provision must use the existing bus stop locations that are already in place for the regular eligible riders. No special routing or additional stops will be created for empty seat riders. The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) reserves the right to withdraw such approval at anytime based on changing load count information (for eligible students) and route efficiency requirements.