At HWDSB, student transportation is provided by the consortium Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS). HWSTS provides safe, effective and efficient transportation services to eligible students at HWDSB as well as Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. This may take the form of traditional yellow-and-black school buses, school purpose vans or Hamilton Street Railway transit.
Delays in 2019-20
The following is a joint statement from Patrick Daly, Chair of the Board for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB) and Alex Johnstone, Chair of the Board for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), regarding possible transportation delays:
Although progress has been made, Hamilton-Wentworth Student Transportation Services (HWSTS) has advised both HWCDSB and HWDSB that a bus driver shortage will continue to impact local school bus routes as students return to school starting September 3, 2019.
Even though improvements have been made and we aren’t seeing as severe a shortage as in previous years, we still expect to see some impact across the city.
In 2018-19, HWSTS averaged about a 20-25 routes shortfall last year that required spares and doubling of routes by drivers. We have worked hard to look at solutions and we are confident that we are in a better position for this September start-up.
However, we do expect to be short approximately 15 drivers next week but that is subject to fluctuation and we will confirm actual numbers in the coming weeks.
Families are encouraged to sign up for email notifications of delays and cancellations on the HWSTS website www.hamiltonschoolbus.ca.
The ongoing bus driver shortage and the upcoming tendering (RFP) for transportation services beyond 2021 will necessitate the need for the HWSTS (school boards) to continue to look for efficiencies while maintaining student safety. We continue to work with HWSTS in an effort to minimize the impact on students.
Schools Affected by Delays
We have been informed that bus delays may occur at the following schools (updated September 13, 2019):
Prince of Wales
Rockton – Dr. Seaton Campus
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Notice of Bus Operator Change 2019-20
HWSTS wishes to advise of a Bus Operator Change for the following routes:
|Route||Previous Bus Company||New Bus Company|
Please note, this is a change of bus company name on side of the bus only. Any delays greater than 10 minutes will be posted on the HWSTS website.
Frequently Asked Questions about HWDSB transportation…
How do I know if my child is eligible for transportation?
Students residing within all urban and rural areas as defined by the “Official Plans” and prepared by the local municipality, will be eligible for transportation services to their in-catchment school when the walking distance exceeds the following:
- Elementary School, Kindergarten students: 1.0 km
- Elementary School, grades 1 to 8 students, 1.6 km
- Secondary School, grades 9 to 12 students, 3.2 km
Learn more in the HWDSB Transportation Policy.
How am I notified of a bus delay?
HWSTS maintains a Parent Portal. By registering with this tool, families can receive email updates when a morning or afternoon bus delay occurs. Delays are also found on the HWSTS website.
In addition, bus delays are posted to the website of the affected HWDSB schools. To avoid duplication with the HWSTS portal, HWDSB does not send its website subscribers a second email about a bus delay.
How do I contact transportation staff?
Families are encouraged to visit the HWSTS website to learn more, and to feel free to contact the HWSTS offices at (905) 523-2318 or 1-800-691-6402 with any questions.
How does severe winter weather affect transportation at HWDSB?
The decision to remain open or to close is always made with the safety and security of our students and staff in mind. When a decision to close is made, it is does so in conjunction with our colleagues at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board based on relevant information at that time.
School Boards across Ontario have varying polices about the cancellation of schools. At HWDSB, the cancellation of transportation due to inclement weather immediately triggers the closure of our schools.
Please remember, as a parent/guardian you always have the choice on whether or not to send your child to school. HWDSB will NOT post a weather alert on its website to signal that schools are open.
Frequently Asked Questions about HWSTS…
Please visit the HWSTS FAQ web page.