Skip to main content


Red Deer Public Schools (RDPSD) assigns designated schools for each area within the city of Red Deer. Eligibility for transportation service is determined based on the distance between a student's primary residence and their designated school. It's important to note that students can only have one primary residence for eligibility purposes.

Guidelines for determining these distances adhere to standards set by Alberta Education. RDPSD utilizes a software program called Busplanner to calculate bus routes and distances. While there are other methods available to calculate distances online, RDPSD always refers to Busplanner to resolve 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. This calculation includes sidewalks, pathways, and alleyways, whether maintained or not.

By adhering to these guidelines and using Busplanner for accurate distance calculations, RDPSD ensures consistent and fair eligibility criteria for student transportation services across the district.

*Amended eligibility explanation*

In March 2023, Alberta Education announced changes to eligibility guidelines for student transportation across the province. 

The revised guidelines went from 2.4 kms for all students to greater than 1 kilometer for grades K-6 and greater than 2 kilometers for grades 7-12. Originally scheduled to officially begin in the 2024/25 school year, the government amended this change to start in the 2025/26 school year.

School districts were given the autonomy to implement the new eligibility criteria starting in the 2023/24 school year if resources allowed. However, not all districts, including Red Deer Public Schools, were able to make the change uniformly for every school in 2023/24. Red Deer Public Schools will begin the new eligibility criteria starting in the 2024/25 school year with only 1 exception and that is due to Transit availabilty constraints.

It's important to note that HHHS (Hunting Hills High School) and Aspen Heights Elementray will remain at 2.4 kms eligibility distance due to specific circumstances impacting bus fleet availability.

While some school districts have opted to delay implementation until 2025, Red Deer Public Schools has chosen a phased transition over two years to align with the new legislation effectively and efficiently.

Below are the schools that will be using the new eligibility criteria starting 2024/25:

High School

Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School

          Middle School

Central Middle School

Eastview Middle School

West Park Middle School

          Elementary School

Annie L Gaetz Elementary

Barrie Wilson Elementary

Don Campbell Elementary

Fairview Elementary


Glendale K-8

GW Smith Elementary

Joseph Welsh Elementary

Mattie McCullough Elementary

Mountview Elementary

Normandeau K-8

Oriole Park Elementary

West Park Elementary 

Eligible distance and fee schedule

  • Grades K-6:  Greater than 1 km to designated school- No fee          Less than 1 km- $300 (No buses to Aspen Heights) 
  • Grades 7-8: Greater than 2 kms to designated school- No fee        Less than 2 km (WPM/GD/ND only)- $300 fee for yellow bus
  • Grades 7-12: Greater than 2 kms to designted school-No fee           LTCHS / Central / EMS   (City Transit)
  • Grades 9-12 HHHS: Greater than 2.4 kms (City Transit)
  • Grades K-12: School of choice-$300     (Yellow charter bus only)
  • Grades K-12 school of choice= Address is 2.4 ks or greater from both attending school of choice and designated school
  • Grades K-12 out of City = Address is greater than 2.4 kms from designated county school and utilizing a stop that is greater than 2.4 ks from attending school- Please note that this only applies to schools using yellow bus service and does not include City Transit (distances will need to be confirmed by RDPSD transportation dept).  

Ineligible students

Students who are ineligible for transportation because they reside less than the eligible distance to school may have the option to access yellow charter bus services for an additional fee. It's important to note that Red Deer Public Schools does not receive transportation funding for ineligible students.

Here are the key points to consider:

  1. Availability: Transportation on yellow charter buses may be provided if there is space available and the student resides along the existing bus route. However, new stops will not be created for ineligible students.

  2. Guarantee and Changes: Availability of transportation for ineligible students is not guaranteed and may change throughout the school year based on eligible student numbers and route adjustments.

  3. Payment: All costs associated with transportation for ineligible students must be paid at the time of application.

  4. Seat Rescindment: Ineligible riders may have their seat rescinded if it is needed for an eligible student. In such cases, fees paid by ineligible riders will be refunded based on the date that transportation service was terminated.

For specific information regarding eligibility for attending alternative programs like Gateway Christian School or Escuela Vista Grande, please contact the school directly. If you have further questions or need clarification, you can also contact the District Transportation office at 403-342-3724.

Examples starting 2023/24

  1. As a regular elementary student and you live under the walking distance of 1 km to your designated elementary school and there is a bus available for your address, you are subject to a transportation fee of $300.00/year/ student for busing. 
  2. As a regular elementary student and you live 2.1 kms from your designated school, there is no fee for busing.
  3. As a regular gr 7-8 Westpark Middle School student and you live under the walking distance of 2 km to (your designated school of) Westpark 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 km away from Westpark Middle School, you are not subject to this fee. 
  4. As a regular Central Middle School student, you live 2.7 kms from Central and 2.9 kms from Eastview (designated school), you would be considered eligible for a free city transit pass.
image description
Back to top