Transportation FAQ's

  • If I move during the school year, how do I change my child’s bus stop?

    First, go to any Welcome Center with required proofs of residency (see page 47) and fill out a “change of address” form. The BPS Transportation Department cannot process your change of address. After you have changed your address at the Welcome Center, the Transportation Department will assign your child to a new bus stop if he or she is eligible for transportation. If you move during the school year, your child can stay in the same school—but he or she may no longer be eligible for transportation services.

    My child transferred to another school. How do I change the bus stop?

    The BPS will automatically assign a new bus stop if your child is eligible for transportation. New assignments are processed weekly on Wednesday mornings, so there may be some lag time from when a transfer is made to when a bus stop is assigned.

    I’m worried about my student taking the T to school instead of a school bus. Is it safe?

    We work closely with community agencies, the City Office of Neighborhood Services, the MBTA, and other stakeholders to keep our students safe. For example, we are improving coordination of police officers to ensure coverage at busy transit hubs and strengthening involvement of school staff and volunteers through the StopWatch and BPS Safety Ambassador Program. We may also provide yellow bus shuttles for students at less accessible schools.

    If the bus is late, will my child be marked tardy?

    The student will be marked tardy, but tardiness due to “bus transportation” are excused and don’t count.

    Do buses have radios or phones so the driver can be contacted or call for help?

    Yes, all buses have two-way radios. They also are equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) which helps the BPS Transportation Department to locate vehicles in case there is an emergency.

    My child is assigned to a bus, but I plan to drive her to school every day. Should I tell anyone?

    If you do not need transportation, please fill out a Yellow Bus Transportation Opt-Out Form. You can retrieve the form at your school, the BPS Transportation Office, or online at, www.bostonpublicschools.org/transportation.

    If you do need the bus at a later date and you are eligible for transportation, please contact the transportation office, 617-635-9520, and your student will be assigned to a bus.

    Whom should I call if my child is having a problem with the driver or with another student on the bus?

    Always tell the principal first. If the principal can’t solve the problem, contact the Transportation Department, (617) 635-9520 or e-mail to schoolbus@bostonpublicschools.org.

    If I think my child’s bus stop is unsafe or too far from my house, what can I do?

    First, check with your child’s school to be sure the address on your child’s record is correct. When assigning bus stops, the Transportation Department considers student safety and operating the most efficient routes possible. In most cases, school bus stops are located within 1/2 mile of a student’s home. If you think the BPS has made a mistake in the placement of your child’s bus stop, contact the Transportation Department. They will review the stop and may make an adjustment. But please note that many students who do not receive transportation often walk up to a mile to their school.

    Do school buses have monitors?

    Due to a limited budget, most buses do not have monitors. Certain students may have a special education monitor as required by their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Principals may also request funding for “bus attendants” in special circumstances where there are serious behavior problems.

    What responsibilities does the bus driver have while transporting children?

    The driver is responsible for delivering students to and from school safely and on time. Responsibilities include: operation of the vehicle; supervision of boarding and discharge; supervision of students while riding the bus; reporting safety and behavior incidents to the principal; and (if applicable) being sure that child restraint systems or wheelchair securement systems are in place.

    Is the driver allowed to leave small children at a bus stop if no adult is there to meet the child?

    Yes. The parent is responsible for being sure someone meets the child every day. If a student seems afraid or unwilling to be left at the stop, the driver will keep the student on the vehicle and continue on the route until a parent can be contacted. Parents should make sure their children are familiar with the surroundings at their bus stop and know the safest route to walk home if no one is there to meet them.

    How many students are allowed on each bus?

    This varies according to the size of the bus. Full-size buses can safely take up to 71 elementary school students. Passengers are not allowed to stand. For safety reasons, only assigned students are allowed on school buses.

    Do school buses have seat belts?

    No, school buses do not require seat belts, although many of our smaller buses are equipped with child safety restraint systems that are designed as a safety option for students who weigh less than 40 pounds. All BPS school buses meet all federal and state safety standards.

    More Information on Transportation Services


    Transportation Department (617) 635-9520
    www.bostonpublicschools.org/transportation
    schoolbus@bostonpublicschools.org