Eligibility for School Bus Service

Bus Information:

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) is pleased to provide students with a variety of transportation services. Please note, that provision of these services is guided by provincial regulations set forth by Alberta Education.

Students Must Apply for Busing Each Year:

It is essential that students apply for transportation services each year. Application forms are submitted through the online registration form. Registration deadlines will apply. Notifications for transportation services/deadlines will be communicated by the schools or on the RDCRS Division website.

Yellow Bus Routes:

  • Bus stop locations are determined by the number of eligible students registered to use the service. 
  • We try our best not to relocate bus stops; however, it may happen from time to time.
  • RDCRS has an expectation that no bus stop will be further than 500 meters (0.5 km) for students in Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5 from a residence for eligible students. This does not apply to ineligible students as they may have to utilize the closest available stop. 
  • Eligible students in Grades 6-12 could be expected to have a walk distance to their bus stop between 500 meters to 800 meters (0.5 km - 0.8 km)
  • Buses will not be rerouted and stops will typically not be added for ineligible students. 
  • Bus stops are only created in residential areas. 
  • Commercial, retail, or office building areas will not be considered for a stop due to safety concerns. We try to keep buses out of crescents and closes due to safety reasons and ease of access as much as possible. 

For confirmation or additional information on transportation, please review our Transportation Frequently Asked Questions. If your questions still remain unanswered, please contact the Transportation Department at transportationinfo@rdcrs.ca or by calling 403-309-8801.

Eligibility:

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) establishes catchment schools for each area of the city. Eligibility for transportation service is determined by the distance from a student's primary place of residence to their catchment school. Students can only have one primary residence for government eligibility purposes. Guidelines for determining these distances are established by Alberta Education. RDCRS uses a program called Bus Planner to calculate routes and distances. Although there are other ways to calculate distances online, RDCRS will always refer to our government-approved software if there are any discrepancies.

Eligibility is calculated using the walking distance from the sidewalk in front of the residence to the sidewalk in front of the school entrance using sidewalks, pathways, and alleyways (maintained or not).

Kindergarten:

Kindergarten students are required to attend their catchment school or a school/program of choice.  

Pre-Kindergarten:

Students attending the Pre-Kindergarten programs pose some unique challenges with regards to busing. Due to the physical size of the students and the safety concern of safely loading and unloading of students, RDCRS recommends the parents drive children to and from school. Requested fees may apply, as well as a "Bus Test" must be completed at the school of attendance prior to the service being offered. 

The Alberta Education Transportation Grant will be partially made available to parents of eligible children regardless if an existing bus route is available. We May transport ineligible (under 2.4km from catchment school) Pre- Kindergarten students on regular routes ( with the possibility of fees being assessed) and providing there is room on the bus.

Please contact your school principal to discuss further. The Alberta Education Transportation Grant application forms will be provided by the school at the end of September.

Eligible Distance:

  • Grades Kindergarten to Grade 12: 2.4 km or greater from catchment school (no fee).
  • Grades 6 - 9: Less than 2.4km from catchment school ($300 fee).
  • Grades Kindergarten to Grade 5: 1.6 km or less from catchment school ($300 fee).
  • Grades  Kindergarten to Grade 5: Between 1.6 km and 2.4 km from catchment school ($150 fee).
  • Grades Kindergarten to Grade 12 (School of Choice): 2.4 km or greater from both School of Choice and catchment school (no fee). 
  • Grades Kindergarten to Grade 12 (School of Choice):  Less than 2.4 km from catchment school ($300 School of Choice fee will apply).  
  • Grade 10 - 12: The City of Red Deer Transit Department, City Transit Pass - Less than 2.4 km ($51.45/month restricted and $59.85/month unrestricted). Subject to change.

Ineligible students:

Students who are ineligible for transportation because they reside less than 2.4 km from their catchment school, are able to access bus services for a fee because the school division does not receive transportation funding for ineligible students. 

NOTE: Transportation may be provided if there is room available on the bus and the student resides along the existing bus route (please note, that new bus stops will not be created for ineligible students).

Availability is not guaranteed and is subject to change throughout the school year as (eligible) student numbers and routes change. All ineligible transportation costs must be paid at the time of application. Ineligible riders may have their seat rescinded if it is needed for an eligible student, in which case all ineligible rider fees would be returned based on the date that transportation was terminated.

Please call the school for information pertaining to eligibility when attending an alternative program. If your question remains unanswered, please contact the RDCRS Transportation Department at transportationinfo@rdcrs.ca or by calling 403-309-8801.

Please Note: Non-registered bus students will not be permitted access to transportation, for example, to join a friend at their house after school, and bus-registered students must ride their designated routes only. RDCRS no longer accepts notes, phone calls or texts to ride home with friends.

Examples:

  1. As an elementary school catchment student and you live under the walking distance of 1.6 km to your elementary school and there is a bus available for your address, you are subject to a transportation fee of $300.00/year/subject to change/student for busing. 
  2. As an elementary school catchment student and you live 2 km from your school, you are subject to a transportation fee of $150/ year/ student for busing.
  3. As a St. Francis of Assisi School catchment student and you live under the walking distance of 2.4 km to St. Francis of Assisi Middle School and there is a bus available for your address, you are subject to a transportation fee of $300.00/year for busing. If you live further than 2.4 km away from St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, you are not subject to this fee. 
  4. As a St. Patrick’s Community School catchment student, you live 2.7 km from St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School and 2.9 km from St. Patrick’s Community School (catchment school), you would be considered eligible for busing.
  5. Bus service is not available to students who live within 1 km of their catchment  school.

Bus service is not available to students who live within 1 km of their catchment  school. Please Note: All fees are subject to change.