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Bus Service – Frequently Asked Questions

Bus Stops and School Departures

The bus drives past my house. Why can’t it just stop at my house?

Bus stops are placed to allow the buses easy access and egress through neighborhoods while keeping safety a priority. Adding bus stops can cause further delays on bus routes and extend the students’ ride time. Bus routes would have to start earlier in the morning and in the afternoon would cause students to arrive home later.

How is a bus stop established?

Bus stops are established based upon several factors, which include walking conditions, walking distance to the stop and road accessibility. Given acceptable walking conditions, bus stops are placed a minimum of one-quarter mile apart. Students may be required to walk up to .4 miles.

Can the bus stop change?

Bus stops may also change as bus routes are reviewed each year. Stops can also change due to safety concerns. If you have a question, call the transportation office at 410-313-6732.

My child is in the Walk Zone, but the walk to school is not safe. Who should I speak to about that?

If you believe that the walk-zone is unsafe, share your concern with the Transportation Area Manager for that school.

My child goes to a daycare service in the area. Can they still take the bus home?

To qualify for bus transportation, the childcare provider’s address must be within the attendance area of the school and outside of the walking area for that school. Parents must provide the school with the provider’s name, address and phone number.

Can my child ride a different bus home?

Many HCPSS families often request changes, particularly for afternoon transportation, to accommodate childcare, afterschool activities or other special requests. We can accommodate your request if there is space available on that bus. We cannot create a new bus stop on any route. Your child will be assigned to an existing stop on the bus route that is closest to your requested destination. If you need to request a change in the normal routing for your student, please contact the school office to complete an alternate bus service form.

What should I do if there is a custody situation that prohibits my child’s other parent from taking him/her?

Please contact the school as soon as possible regarding any custody issues in order for the appropriate personnel to be notified.

Can my child board a different bus to go to a friend’s house?

For your child to ride home with another student in the afternoon, a permission slip must be written, dated and signed by the parent or guardian and approved by school staff before the afternoon dismissal time.

Can a family member/other adult board a school bus at the stop?

No. The safety of the children is always our priority. We encourage parents wishing to talk to their child’s bus driver to do so at school with an administrator.

What happens once the bus gets to the school?

Once the bus gets to school, the students disembark from the bus and enter the school.

Delays

My child’s bus is consistently late/delayed. Why is this?

Every day, situations arise that are beyond the drivers’ control. These can include traffic accidents, driver absences, maintenance problems, lane closings and roadwork, weather delays or a late departure from school. Drivers make every effort to stay on schedule while being mindful of student safety. If you believe that your bus is consistently late, please contact the area manager for the school and they will address the concern.

What should I do if my child’s bus is more than 15 minutes late?

We recommend that you contact your school to see if the bus was held at school or delayed. If the school staff members are unaware of any delay or departure, they will contact the Pupil Transportation Office and work with staff to determine the cause.

My child’s bus arrives earlier/later than we would like. Can the time be changed?

All HCPSS buses operate on a comprehensive schedule that helps to ensure that the system operates safely and efficiently while delivering students to school safely and on time. Because of the number of students needing transportation, and to ensure effective scheduling, the overall bus schedules cannot be adjusted to accommodate an individual request.

Does weather affect the bus schedule? If so, can I be notified about delays?

Yes. Parents should monitor weather conditions during inclement weather and anticipate that school buses may run behind schedule. HCPSS will notify parents of weather closures and delays using our alert service, HCPSS News. Parents are automatically signed up for this service based on information from their emergency procedure card or recent enrollment form.

Operations

Does the bus driver assign seats?

The bus driver may assign seats as he/she feels necessary to maintain order and safety on the bus.

Does HCPSS offer special services for children with disabilities?

We provide specialized transportation to students with a disability in accordance with the child’s Individualized Education Program. Occasionally, a student requires special transportation because of a temporary disability. Please contact your school principal to discuss your child’s needs and to complete the appropriate forms to meet your student’s needs.

How can I locate items that were lost on the bus?

Drivers and substitute drivers check their buses after each run, and they usually keep left-behind items on the bus for a week. If not claimed by then, the items are then turned in to the school to which the bus is assigned. You may help by labeling all of your child’s belongings with the child’s name and school. Please check with your driver first for any lost items. If they no longer have the item, please contact your child’s school or the Pupil Transportation Office directly for assistance.

My child missed the bus this afternoon. Is the bus able to come back to school?

At most schools, the drivers receive a signal from school staff when they can depart after a sufficient time has been allowed for students to exit the school to board the buses. Sometimes students are held up at school for unforeseen reasons and miss their school buses. Once buses depart the school, they are not able to return to pick up any students who have missed their buses.