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Plan Ahead
Starting April 25, 2021 there will be 44 new School Special bus routes and many new regular routes to get you to junior high or high school. The paths the routes take and time schedules will be different from what is currently in place.

In the new bus network, many schools will be served by regular ETS routes. There will also be extra trips on some routes that are timed for students at a particular school. In addition, there will be 44 new School Special bus routes operating on school days to supplement the new routes. 

ETS is ending our current practice of showing most School Special bus route trips as a branch of a regular route with a unique destination sign and “S” numbering. Instead, all school trips that are different from a regular route will be numbered in the 600s and the “S” will no longer be used. 

You can see the new School Special bus routes and other regular buses on this interactive map. School Special bus routes are the black coloured routes. Note: Online trip planning for the new network will be available by mid-March 2021. Individual route maps and schedules will be available in spring 2021. 

How can we get a School Special bus route in my neighbourhood?

School Special bus routes are intended to manage overcrowding on regular ETS bus routes caused by a large number of students travelling between a neighbourhood and a school. All customers are welcome to use both School Special and regular routes. ETS does not provide School Special bus routes to every school and students may need to make transfers to get to their designated school. 

How do you decide where and when to run School Special bus routes?

ETS works closely with the local school boards to set the timing of the School Special bus route. The number and location of School Special bus routes are reviewed every year and adjustments are made based on the number of customers along the route. When a route does not meet a minimum number of customers over a period of time, the service is moved to another area with higher demand. 

Are there School Special bus routes for areas served by On Demand Transit?

There are 30 neighbourhoods that will be served by a new flexible On Demand Transit service rather than a regular bus route starting April 25, 2021. 

School Special bus routes are not available in the neighbourhoods. However, junior high and high school students, as well as post-secondary students, can use the On Demand Transit service to support their school travel. Their experience would be the same as youth in neighbourhoods with regular bus service. They can travel with other customers using the On Demand Transit service to a designated transit hub where they would transfer to regular bus routes destined for their school. 

Are there any special pandemic guidelines in place for School Special bus routes?

Guidelines for School Special bus routes are the same for all ETS service.

When waiting for a bus or train:

  • Avoid crowded bus stops and waiting areas
  • Wear a mask or face covering, some exemptions apply
  • Keep a distance of 2 meters from others while waiting at a transit stop
  • Passengers with COVID-19 symptoms should stay home 

When getting on board a bus or train:

  • Spread out where spacing allows
  • Stand away from the driver to give the driver space
  • It can be difficult to maintain physical distance on board public transit, so wear a mask or face covering (some exemptions apply)
What should new customers know?

Trip Planning Tools

  • Includes information about the various ways you can plan your trip, including the ETS Trip Planner, third party apps and route schedules

Using the Bus

  • Includes information on what to do when waiting for a bus, boarding a bus, paying fares, exiting the bus and providing feedback

Using the LRT

  • Includes information about Proof of Payment areas at LRT Stations, waiting for the train, tips for while you are riding on the train and getting help on the train or at LRT stations

What items can I bring on transit

  • Includes information about what to do with items like backpacks, personal listening devices (for example, cell phones), food and drink, as well as bikes

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