New student transportation policy to come into effect in September

school bus

The provincial government has announced a new student transportation policy that comes into effect in September.

The new guidelines will set provincial criteria for school bus eligibility, with students and pre-primary children who attend an elementary school and live at least 1.6 kilometres away being eligible for busing.

Junior and senior high school students will be eligible if they live 2.4 kilometres away.

Government says most regional centres and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial are currently operating at or below the new criteria.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Zach Churchill says, "While families and students outside HRM are quite satisfied with existing bus services, it is clear from conversations with families and the education community that changes were necessary to improve how we help students get to school."

The province says the new policy will also address communication plans between service providers and families, and include a new review process when families are not in agreement with a transportation decision.

Families can contact their regional centre for education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial to determine bus eligibility.