Student Transportation in Ontario


  • School buses are the safest form of student transportation.  Statistics derived from the National Collision Database show that children who travel to school by school bus are 72 times safer than those traveling to school by car; and 45 times safer than those walking and cycling to school. (Section 2.1, page 4)
  • School buses are painted a distinctive shade of yellow, and are equipped with flashing red lights and a stop arm designed to help children get on and off the bus safely.
  • Governed by some 40 federal regulations1 and a robust set of standards, school buses also have a series of structural safety features built in that are specifically designed to safeguard children in the event of a collision. For example, they are mandated to have reinforced joints, high roof crush standards, electronic stability control to help prevent rollovers, window retention to mitigate ejection, emergency exit requirements, and a highly effective seat design
    referred to as compartmentalization.
  • School bus safety is a shared responsibility among Federal, Provincial and Terroritorial governments, owners/operators, school boards,
    and a diverse road safety community. The “yellow school bus” design familiar to Canadians is unique to Canada and the United States, with federally defined school bus classes and specific safety regulations.
  • The Standards Council of Canada’s  D-250 Committee on School Bus Construction Standards develops further technical specifications for the safety and durability of school buses.

Other Facts 

  • There are 20,000 school buses and school purpose vehicles in Ontario and approximately 18,000+ drivers
  • Over 833,000 students transported daily
  • School buses in Ontario travel 1.8 million kilometers each day – equivalent to 40 times around the world every day!
  • The Ministry of Education funds home-to-school student transportation to the school boards transportation consortia.
  • Approximatley 150 companies operate under contract to the school boards – multi-national companies and small local rural family operators.
  • emergency exit requirements, and a highly effective seat design referred to as compartmentalization.