The First Rider Program is a School Bus Safety program introducing young children and their parents to school buses and school bus safety. It’s intended to be a fun learning experience. Come out to our First Riders event to learn about taking the bus safely and with expertise.

Hosted by various First Rider partners, this event is an important learning opportunity for any student who is taking the yellow school bus for the first time. First Riders will help to familiarize you and your child with our buses and provide hands-on safety information. The program is focused on students entering Kindergarten and Grade 1 students who will use yellow bus services in the fall. However any student who is new to taking the school bus, or would like a refresher, is welcome to attend.

  • When: August 18, 2015
  • Where: Westerner Park, Red Deer
  • Times: 1-3pm and 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Staying Safe

School buses are the safest way to get to and from school each day. However, there are a number of ways your child can be sure to have the safest ride possible.

For Students:

  • Be alert to traffic. Check both ways for cars before stepping off the bus or the curb.
  • While waiting for the bus to leave, stay in a safe place away from the edge of the road.
  • Never go back to retrieve some-thing you’ve dropped near a school bus.

For Parents:
Because School buses are the safest mode of getting students to and from school, have your child ride the school bus instead of riding in a private vehicle.

  • Review school bus safety rules with your child regularly.
  • Get to know the parents of other riders. This way you will learn about the other children who are riding along with your child.
  • Get involved with your student’s safety. Voice concerns immediately to your School District Transportation Office.
  • Attend “back to school” events and tour a big yellow school bus.
  • Get familiar with the yellow bus and the people that drive them.

Your Bus driver is a trained professional who sees children just like your child every day; he or she would be happy to tell you about the safety features on the bus and the responsibility drivers have for keeping their young passengers safe. Keep applicable School District telephone numbers handy in case the bus is delayed or in the event of an emergency. Know what your role is for emergency evacuations.

Our Role in Safety

The top priority of all School Divisions and Districts is to keep children safe on the school bus. We’re proud that the school bus is the safest mode of transportation for students and continuously strive to make our services even more reliable. Our Buses are:

Safe: School buses are among the safest vehicles on the road; the color and size of school buses make them easily visible and identifiable, their height provides good driver visibility and raises the bus passenger compartment above car impact height and reinforced sides resist side impacts.

Secure: From the Transportation Department staff, to driver, to mechanic, there’s a trained professional looking after your child’s safety at every step of the trip. School bus drivers are among the most highly trained, tested and scrutinized drivers on the road. All bus drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License and must pass written and skills tests to earn a specialized School Bus Endorsement qualification. Drivers also receive specialized class-room and behind-the-wheel bus driver training. In addition, Drivers receive training in student loading/unloading procedures, student evacuation and student behaviour management.

The Program Experience:

During your visit with us, you’ll view a video in which Winnie the Pooh and his friends go on an exciting adventure of riding the school bus for the first time. They learn safety tips that help them learn to ride the bus safely. We want you and your child to share in this same experience. After viewing the Winnie the Pooh video, you and your child will then board a yellow school bus where the bus driver will tell you all about how to ride a school bus safely, including how to get on the bus, how to act while travelling and how to properly exit the bus. After, we’ll take you on a short ride to experience what it’s like to ride on a bus just like the “big-kids”. We hope you’ll join us for this fun outdoor learning experience that runs about 45 minutes and includes a ride on a yellow school bus. Parents must accompany the child through this event.

The First Ride Program Partners are:

Prairie Bus Lines
General Manager: Scott Hucal
Operations Manager: Corinne Varga
Tel: 403.342.6390

Red Deer Public School District
Transportation Manager: Scott Partridge

Chinooks Edge School Division
Director of Transportation: Dieter Brandt
Asst. Director of Transportation: Patti Thompson

Red Deer Catholic Regional Division
Transportation Manager: Bill Wilson
Admin Assistant: Shevon Medicraft