First Rider Program

The First Rider Program is a School Bus Safety Program offered by the East of Thunder Bay Transportation Consortium and Southland Transportation. It introduces young children and their parents to school buses and school bus safety.  The program is intended to be a fun learning experience.  It is especially designed for children who will be riding the school bus for the first time in September.  The program reviews bus safety rules and allows parents and children an opportunity to ask questions about school bus safety.  As part of the program, parents and their children may watch a video.  Below are the First Rider, Primary (Kindergarten to Gr. 3) and Junior (Gr. 4 to 8) videos for viewing.

Student Resources (

Sessions will be held at your school.  Contact your school for time and to register.


Important Reminders

  • It is important to know your child’s bus information including bus operator name, route number/symbol, bus stop location and scheduled pick-up/drop-off times.
  • Parents should take their child to see their school before the first day. The bus may stop at other schools before or after your child’s school.
  • It will help your child to know what their school looks like so that they do not miss getting off at the right school.
  • Teach your child the name of their school so they can tell the bus driver.
  • Complete and update any medical/life-threateninginformation for your child (if applicable) and submit this information to their school.


Walking to the Bus Stop

  • All kindergarten students must be accompanied to and from the bus stop by an adult, guardian, or another responsible person.
  • Have your child arrive at the bus stop 5-10 minutes before their pick-up time.
  • Assume responsibility for your child’s behavior while waiting to board the bus.


At the Bus Stop

  • Never play around when you are at your school bus stop.
  • When it is winter, do not stand on or play on snowbanks.
  • If you drop something under the bus do not try to get it back yourself.
  • Never go under or reach under the school bus for any reason.


The Danger Zone

  • The danger zone is an imaginary rectangle that shows you the dangerous areas around the school bus. The danger zone goes 10 steps all the way around the bus.
  • The most dangerous areas are in front of the bus, and behind the bus, because the driver can’t see you. The bus tires are also dangerous so make sure to always stay away from them. Never go behind, or directly in front of the school bus.


Riding on the School Bus

  • Understand that the bus is viewed as an extension of the classroom and, as such, student discipline falls under the responsibility of the school Principal.


Picking Up Your Child

  • Parents must be 5 to 10 minutes early for pickup at the end of the day. Wait on the side of the road that the bus stops on. Do not stand away from the bus in groups.
  • The person responsible for meeting your child at the bus stop should approach the bus door to ensure visual contact before they get off the bus.
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