Bad Weather

With bad weather come the questions:

  • Are buses running today?
  • Should buses be running today?
  • Why aren’t the buses running today?
  • Why is the bus to Dunstable running but the bus to Fort Assiniboine isn’t?
  • and… I can’t believe the school buses are running today!

When do we cancel buses?

A bus run will not operate when the temperature is minus 40 degrees Celsius (-40°C) or colder at the start of a route. This temperature does not take into account windchill. Our drivers also follow specific rules about stopping or crossing lanes in reduced visibility.

Our school buses travel approximately 11,000 kilometres each day. Because weather and road conditions vary from region to region, decisions about whether or not to cancel a school bus or buses are made as close to the local community as possible.

Note: Even if the school buses aren’t running, schools will be open.

On a route-by-route basis
Your bus driver will decide whether or not the school bus will run. Our drivers are the most familiar with the weather and road conditions on their routes. When a bus driver decides to cancel the bus because it’s not safe to drive, the driver will notify:

  • parents on the route
  • the school principal
  • the Transportation Director

On a division-wide basis
If a big storm is brewing, our Transportation department will gather reports from school bus drivers regarding local conditions and monitor information from the Weather Network and Environment Canada. A decision whether school buses will run or not will be made before 6 a.m.  For safety reasons, schools will be open even when buses are cancelled.

How we communicate bus cancellations

When a single bus route is cancelled or delayed:

  • bus drivers will contact parents on their route
  • we will update the bus status report on the division and school websites

When all bus routes or large numbers of routes are cancelled:

  • we will contact parents via phone, email or text message through SchoolMessenger
  • bus drivers will contact parents on their route
  • we will update the bus status report
  • we will post notices on the division website and Facebook page

Sign up for SchoolMessenger

Text messages through SchoolMessenger can only be sent to parents and staff who have opted-in. If you have not yet opted-in to receive text messages, text Y or YES to 978338. You must also ensure that your child’s school has your cell phone number on file in order to receive text messages.

What can parents do?

Make sure your child is dressed for the weather — and be prepared for unexpected severe weather conditions. Students should always wear or carry appropriate winter footwear and outerwear including headgear, gloves or mitts. Students inadequately prepared for winter conditions may be reported to the parents and the school principal by the bus driver.

If you are concerned about sending your child to the bus stop or school because of bad weather or roads – even if our buses are running – you can always keep your child home.

For more information contact our transportation office at 780-674-8510 or email