The new school year means pandemic policies for riding the school bus

COVID-19 protocols in place for students and drivers

The wheels on the school buses will be going round-and-round after Labour Day as students across Ontario return to the classroom.

This will be the first face-to-face learning since the province shut down in-person classes in April due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC) is ready to roll.

The SCSTC provides student transportation services within Simcoe County for the Simcoe County District School Board and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board.

Just like last year, SCSTC CEO and General Manager John Barbato says they have ensured all COVID-19 protocols identified by the Ministry of Education and public health have been implemented.

He says it wouldn’t hurt to give kids who ride the bus a refresher.

“This includes all students wearing masks on buses, and being aware the drivers will be wearing masks while they are driving and will have eye protection when students board and exit the school bus,” says Barbato.

“Be aware that there will be assigned seating for students on the bus.”

Despite the ongoing pandemic, there hasn’t been a problem finding drivers willing to get behind the wheel.

“We have a full complement of drivers to run our school buses,” says Barbato. “We have really great bus drivers in Simcoe County that care about the students and getting them to school safely every day.”

SCSTC by the Numbers

  • The SCSTC plans and coordinates safe and efficient home-to-school transportation for more than 36,000 students.
  • SCSTC-contracted school vehicles travel about 63,000 km each day – that’s equivalent to more than 1.6 times around the equator!
  • The SCSTC services 150 public and catholic schools in Simcoe County.
  • The SCSTC contracts more than 720 school vehicles to provide home-to-school transportation. These include full-size buses, busettes, minivans and physically disabled passenger vehicles (PDPV).
  • The SCSTC transports eligible students to and from school throughout Simcoe County—that’s 4,859 square kilometres and includes the following four zones:
    • North Zone – Elmvale, Midland, Penetanguishene, Orillia and surrounding areas;
    • South Zone – Alliston, Beeton, Bradford, Cookstown, Tottenham and surrounding areas;
    • Central Zone – Barrie, Innisfil, Angus and surrounding areas;
    • West Zone – Collingwood, Stayner, Wasaga Beach and surrounding areas