Unaccompanied Children Policy

Unaccompanied Children

  • Applicable to Unaccompanied Children between 8-12 years of age (inclusive)
  • The Student Fare (Adult Fare with 15% discount) will apply to all Unaccompanied Children
  • Unaccompanied Children will travel on our bus and train services by reservation only

Unaccompanied Children Travelling on Ontario Northland

Children between the ages of 8 and 12 inclusive may travel unaccompanied under the following restrictions and conditions. These conditions must be met in their entirety.

  1. Transportation service available by reservation only. Unaccompanied Children must be registered with Ontario Northland and have the trip booked 12 hours prior to departure.
  2. An adult at least 18 years of age must bring the child who will be travelling to the station. Both the adult and the child are required to be at the departure station a minimum of 30 minutes prior to departure time to complete all necessary paperwork. The adult must produce identification to verify the child’s age. A copy of the identification will be taken and stapled to the forms.
  3. For each unaccompanied child travelling alone, the adult bringing the child to the station must complete and sign a release form.
  4. The adult must escort the child to the platform to board the motor coach or train and remain at the station until the scheduled service has departed.
  5. Upon arrival at the destination station, an adult, at least 18 years of age, must be present to meet the child and provide acceptable identification to the attendant before the child is released. The child will only be released to the person specified on the Unaccompanied Child release form after confirmation of identity.
  6. An Unaccompanied Child release form must be completed for each child that is travelling and must be completed for each direction of the trip. Round trip requires two forms to be completed.
  7. No unaccompanied child shall be bumped from a trip for reasons such as an overload.
  8. Children who have a life threatening food allergy, such as an allergy to peanuts or peanut products, may not travel unaccompanied.
  9. Children travelling must be of sound health, do not require any medication nor have any medical or physical condition which could create an emergency or require special attention.
  10. The child must have sufficient snacks and beverages for their trip.
  11. If the receiving adult is not present to accept the child at the destination station, the child may be handed over to the local Police authorities.

NOTE: A child between the ages of 8-12 traveling with a companion that is 13 years of age or older, is not required to reserve Unaccompanied Children services. The companion traveling with the child must have identification indicating their date of birth.

Parents/Guardians Responsibilities:

  1. Ensure the receiving adult specified on the Unaccompanied Children release form is present at the destination station 10 minutes prior to child’s arrival.
  2. The receiving adult specified on the Unaccompanied Children release form is required to produce photo identification upon child’s arrival. *In order to comply with our assurance quality, Unaccompanied Children may not be released without verification of receiving adults identification*.
  3. If the child is not met at the destination station as specified, the escorting adult acknowledges and agrees that an Ontario Northland staff or agent is authorized to take whatever actions necessary to arrange for the child’s safety. The escorting adult will be required to reimburse Ontario Northland for any costs incurred to them for taking that action.
  4. The escorting adult must ensure that the child understands their responsibilities and will follow them.

Unaccompanied Children’s Responsibilities:

  1. Must sit in assigned seating, provided by the driver/conductor.
  2. Must remain seated in assigned seating (except for the use of washroom).
  3. Must advise the driver/conductor if they are being disturbed in any way.
  4. Must advise the driver/conductor if they require assistance in any way.
  5. Must follow driver/conductor instructions when stopped for schedules, breaks and when driver/conductor is assisting in loading passengers, baggage and freight. Children must not depart for any reason unless prior permission from the driver is granted.
  6. Must wait for all passengers to depart service and then follow driver/conductor instructions to meet receiving adult.

Motor Coach Driver Responsibilities:

  1. Ensure child does not get off coach for any reason, unless permission is granted by the driver.
  2. Ensure child safely arrives and gets off coach at the predetermined destination noted on the form, no exceptions.
  3. Use best efforts to ensure child is not disturbed or bothered by other passengers and assist child if needed.
  4. If receiving adult is not at destination, contact Customer Service and Sales Agent and stay with the child until appropriate arrangements are in place for the child.
  5. Driver may release child to an Ontario Northland employee at destination station, provided the station is open, staffed, child has been accepted, and the release form signed by Ontario Northland staff. 
  6. Check in with child often to ensure their trip is going smoothly.
  7. Ensure child’s whereabouts at all times and during rest stops.
  8. If for any reason the driver is replaced during the scheduled route, the initial driver must ensure the new/replacement driver is apprised that an unaccompanied child is on board, the seat location of the child, and hand over the Unaccompanied Child release form.

Polar Bear Express Conductor Responsibilities:

  1. Ensure child safely arrives and gets off at the predetermined destination noted on the form, no exceptions.
  2. Use best efforts to ensure child is not disturbed or bothered by other passengers and assist child if needed.
  3. If parent/guardian is not at destination, remain with child until appropriate custody is organized and arrives.
  4. Conductor’s may release child to an Ontario Northland employee at destination station, provided the station is open, staffed, and the release form is signed by an Ontario Northland employee. 
  5. Check in with child often to ensure their trip is going smoothly.

    Disclosures

    *Ontario Northland reserves the right to decline requests of Unaccompanied Children services should compliance with the above conditions not be met*

    *Conditions are subject to change with advance notice*