Frequently Asked Questions about Riding the Bus
Q: Who should I contact if I have a bus stop or transportation question that isn’t answered here?
A: All school bus transportation concerns should be directed to the Transportation Department at 302-762-7181. Office hours are 5:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. Our fax number is 302-762-7044.
Q: For a student to be eligible to ride the school bus, what is the distance from the school to the home? How is it measured?
A: Transportation is provided for students in grades K to 6 who live one (1) mile or more from their feeder school. Students in grades 7 to 12 who live two (2) miles or more from their feeder school are also eligible to ride the bus. Distance is measured between the home and the school along the most direct route on a public road or walkway.
Q: Are Choice students eligible for transportation?
A: Yes, choice students are allowed to ride the bus regardless of where they live. They can catch the bus at a regular stop for their school as long as they have transportation to the stop. Parents are responsible for getting the student to and from the stop safely. Contact the Transportation office to request a bus stop for your child.
Q: Why are many stops on main roads on the edge of our development?
A: State law requires that we operate with the student’s safety in mind. When a stop is located at the entrance to a development, we do a site inspection and evaluate traffic patterns and conditions to make sure it is safe. We also look at likely traffic conditions during winter and know that stops along the main roads are more likely to be plowed and salted. While time and mileage impact our decisions in routing buses, safety is our first priority.
Q: How early should my child be at the bus stop?
A: Students should plan to arrive at the bus stop about 10 minutes before pickup time. The bus cannot wait for students who are late.
Q: What if the bus is late?
A: Weather, traffic, driver absenteeism, maintenance difficulties, and unforeseen incidents are responsible for arrival delays of school buses in the morning and afternoon. Please know that we are doing everything humanly possible to have all buses running on schedule every day. If your child’s bus does not arrive as scheduled, please allow fifteen minutes before calling the transportation office or the school.
Q: Why can't you call me when you know the bus will be late?
A: With as many as 50-70 students on each bus, that would require 50-70 phone calls in a short time to parents who are quite possibly at the bus stop with their children. It is just not feasible. Even with automatic dialers, in the 10-15 minutes it takes to set up the message and dialing list we have most often taken the steps to get the bus, or a substitute bus, to the stop.
Q: Can my child get a bus from their daycare to and from school?
A: Yes, with some limitations. If your home address is eligible for school bus transportation, your child can ride to and from school from a daycare as long as the daycare is in a bus service area as well. The daycare information must be provided to your child’s school your child.
Q: The bus goes right past my house. Why can’t my child get on and off there?
A: Bus stops are established at easily identified locations accessible to students throughout a geographic area. This assures student safety, bus safety, and reliable service. Every time a school bus stops to pick up and/or drop off students, the rest of the kids on the bus ride longer. Fewer stops mean less fuel, less accidents and less time for your child to be on the bus.
Q: Why are there so few students riding some buses and my child's bus is crowded?
A: Bus routes are developed based on information from the school registration, previous similar routes, and Department of Transportation data. Routes that serve district-wide programs, students with special needs, and rural areas with long distances between stops often are more limited by the length of the ride rather than the number of students. If the ride time exceeds 45 minutes, we may have the bus routed directly to school so that no students spend excessive amounts of time on the bus.
Q: If I have two students attending the same school and one student receives special service transportation, can my other student ride the same bus?
A: Yes, if there is space available and if no overriding special needs exist for other students assigned to the bus.
Q: Why must I submit a written request for my student to get on or off at a stop that's different than the one closest to our home?
A: The Transportation Department must receive and approve written requests for stop changes, even on a short term basis, for the safety of your child. It reduces the opportunity for missing or lost students and alerts the driver to the change. The department has to verify that a seat is available on the new bus. All requests must be submitted in writing to the Transportation Department at least one day in advance of the change.
Q: How are bus stops determined?
A: Just a few of the things we consider in determining where to designate a stop are:
- Length of time a child is on the bus
- Can the bus and its warning lights be seen by other motorists at a distance of 500 feet on open roadways or 200 feet on urban streets.
- Are the students and other motorists visible to the bus driver when approaching the stop?
- How do light conditions affect the visibility approaching the student stop? (sun rising and setting, background lighting – Christmas season, etc.)
- Hills and curves reduce the visibility for drivers approaching a stop or a stopped school bus.
- Do surrounding buildings or foliage affect what the driver can see when approaching the stop?
- Are there potential hazards from side streets or parking lots?
- Is there an area for students to safely wait for the bus?
- Is there potential shelter for students in the event of inclement weather?
- How many students are at the stop? What are their ages?
Q: Are bus stops reviewed periodically by transportation?
A: Our transportation supervisor travels throughout the district regularly to check the stops for environmental and traffic changes. Bus drivers report any concerns they may have relating to safe operations at bus stops. During a typical year we purposely review about a third of these stops. We will formally review another 50 per year due to concerns expressed about stop safety by residents.