Student Transportation Services

All students who want to take the bus to and/or from school need to register

All NLPS students who live more than 2.4 kilometres from their designated school are eligible for student transportation and NLPS does not charge a fee for this service.

Northern Lights Public Schools also offers in-town student transportation to students in Bonnyville, Cold Lake and Lac La Biche who live less than 2.4 kilometres from their designated school on a fee-for-service basis.

For the 2021-2022 school year, fees will be charged as follows:

Grade Level Distance from Designated School Fee (per year)
Kindergarten to Grade 4 More than 1.6 kilometres FREE
Kindergarten to Grade 4 Less than 1.6 kilometres $380
Grades 5 & 6 Less than 2.4 kilometres $380
Grades 7 to 12 Less than 2.4 kilometres $500

Please note, in-town routes are subject to availability of bus contractors and drivers, and priority will be given to students who live greater than 2.4 kilometres from their designated school. When necessary, students will be placed on a waiting list until a viable bus route can be established or space becomes available on an established route.

*** Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements that may be put in place for student transportation, NLPS cannot guarantee that all routes will be available or that it will be able to accommodate all students who register for busing for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents are encouraged to have alternate transportation plans in place for their children.**

A fee will also be charged for any student who requires a seat on an second (alternate) route, unless it is required to comply with a custody agreement.  The fee for this service for 2021-2022 is $190 for students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 and $250 for students in grades 7-12. Alternate route seats will only be provided if space is available on the alternate route and will be capped at one alternate seat per student.

Where fees are applicable, registration is not complete until the first installment of fees has been paid through School Cash Online. 

Fees are payable in up to four installments - one prior to the start of the school year (or prior to the first day of riding the bus if starting mid-year) and the rest due prior to the end of the first semester (payment would come out on January 1). An automatic $26 late charge will be added to your School Cash Online account if payment is not received. If the final installment and late fee are not received prior to the end of February, the parent/guardian will be asked to withdraw their child(ren) from riding the bus.

Bus Fee Refunds

Bus fee refunds will be applied in the following circumstances:

  • bus services are not available for a period exceeding two consecutive weeks (excluding holidays included on the NLPS calendar)
  • there is a Division required school closure that exceeds two consecutive weeks (excluding holidays included on the NLPS calendar)
  • the student riding the bus changes schools and does not require transportation to/from the new location
  • the student moves and fees are not applicable at their new location
  • the student moves out of district.

In the event a student is moving or changing schools, please inform NLPS Transportation as soon as possible.


Fee Waiver

Families who wish to apply to have their fees waived, should complete our Transportation Fee Waiver Form and submit it to our Transportation Department.

Our Student Transportation Guide outlines the responsibilities of students, bus drivers and parents, as well as general information about our busing service. Please view the guide or our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers about the following: birthday parties and sleepovers; channels of communication; in-town busing information; school of choice information; and inclement weather information. Ensure that you read the brochure carefully and contact us if you have any questions.

Additional information is included in our Transportation Policy.

How do I know if buses are cancelled?

Administrative Procedure 131 - Inclement Weather Disruptions to Transportation and Classroom Schedules outlines the difference between buses being cancelled, classes being cancelled and schools being closed. It is important to understand the difference so you know what to do when each of those scenarios occurs.

Parents make the final decision about whether or not to take or send their children to school when inclement weather conditions exist, regardless of whether or not buses or classes have been cancelled.

Bus Cancellations

Buses may be cancelled for a variety of reasons - mechanical issues, driver illness, weather, etc. In the case of inclement weather, our Transportation Department assesses travel safety by looking at road conditions and visibility; temperature and wind chill; as well as weather warnings and RCMP travel advisories. Using this information, buses are cancelled when it is unsafe for drivers to transport students on buses.

When buses are cancelled, it does not mean it is a "no school" day. Classes will proceed as scheduled. If large numbers of students are absent due to bus cancellations, classes may be modified. 

When buses are cancelled, parents need to report that their child will be absent so we know not to expect them at school. You have three options to report an absence:

  • School Messenger
    • Log in to the app and choose Attendance from the drop down menu on the left-hand side of the screen, then click on the Report an Absence button in the lower right-hand corner or
    • In a web browser, go to, log in and choose Attendance from the drop down menu on the left-hand side of the screen, then click on Report an Absence in the top right-hand corner.
  • Call 1-833-288-7008 toll-free and use our Safe Arrival system to report your child's absence
  • Call your child's school directly and leave a message.

Please note that unless otherwise indicated by your child's school, we do not monitor social media or email for absence notifications. If you report your child's absence using those methods, we may not receive it and you may still receive an automated message asking you to confirm your child's absence.


Class Cancellations

Classes are cancelled when the outside air temperature is at or exceeds -40 degrees Celsius, or the wind chill exceeds -45 degrees Celsius.

When classes are cancelled, buses are also cancelled. Schools remain open, but regular classes are not held. 

When classes are cancelled, parents need to report that their child will be absent so we know not to expect them at school.


School Closure

School closures occur rarely and are usually due to fire, water damage or other hazards that prevent access to the school for a period of time.