General busing information, questions and concerns
Concerns about the location of a bus stop should be communicated through the process on the Bus Stop Request form on this web site.
We receive the highest number of calls when our buses are on the road. These hours are 7:00 A.M. - 9:30 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. Late, missed buses, cancellations and special program busing are priority calls during these hours. If you have questions or comments that are not urgent, please wait to call during the hours when the buses are not operating.
How are non busing areas determined?
The non-busing area is determined by measuring the shortest distance from the student’s residence (where the front of the property meets the street), by reasonably safe walkway, street or highway that is accessible to the public, to the assigned entrance of the school the student attends. If any portion of where the front of the residential property meets the street is outside this distance, the student will be provided busing to and from school. The non-busing area is at a distance of one mile for grades K-5 and a distance of one and one-half miles for grades 6-12. The Transportation Coordinator determines the shortest or most direct route.
How do I know if we live in a non-busing area?
You may access the Transportation Department website at www.district196.org. This will give you information on the busing and non-busing areas.
How will I know which bus my child takes?
You will receive a postcard the week before school starts showing bus stop locations, bus numbers and times for the school(s) your child(ren) attends.
How are bus stop locations determined?
Bus stops are established so students in kindergarten and grades 1-5 who live one mile or more from their school and students in grades 6-12 who live one and one-half miles or more from their school are transported to the school in their attendance area.
Our goal is to consistently identify bus stops in neighborhoods on the basis of safety, efficiency and distance between stops. Generally bus stops are located at an intersection in order for the driver to have a wide area to scan for traffic and students, to create efficient routes and to minimize buses backing up.
- School bus drivers do not have the authority to change bus routes or student pickup/drop off locations.
- Generally, bus stops are located at least 3 blocks away from each other.
- Generally, 20 - 25 students are assigned to a bus stop. This number may be exceeded at cul-de-sacs, high density housing areas and high school stops because students are not standing on through streets and/or they are older.
- Bus stops are placed at locations that meet defined criteria, are centrally located and within reasonable walking distances from the student’s home.
- Activity routes - For busing to home from after-school activities, the bus stop is located within one mile from the student’s home.
Under what conditions is consideration given to adjusting bus stop locations?
Roads and streets sometimes intersect on areas of road that cause concern for school bus transportation and the motoring public. We make every effort to select safe places to load and unload students given these varying factors of roads, streets, traffic speed and locations of residences. Adjustments to bus stops to create what we believe is the safest alternative will be made in these instances (Administrative Regulation 707.2AR, School Bus Safety).
Why do some children have to cross the street to board the school bus?
We are not able to route buses so that all children can board the bus on the door side. We recommend that children wait on the side of the street that they reside. The bus will stop traffic in all directions to accommodate students that need to cross the street to board the bus.
We live on a cul-de-sac. Will the bus come down our street?
Except to transport special education students, buses generally are not routed down cul-de-sacs because of the danger to small children and property caused by the bus turning around and/or backing up in a small area. However, elementary school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs which are one half mile long or longer, and middle school and high school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs which are one-mile or longer.
Our neighborhood has no sidewalks and has hills and curves. Can we have an additional bus stop so our children do not have to walk to the existing stop?
With the large number of streets and bus stops in our school district, it is necessary for some students to walk on roads that have hills, curves and/or no sidewalks.
I cannot see the bus stop from my house.
The school district provides transportation for over 25,000 students to and from school each day. We are not able to position bus stops so that all parents are able to see the stop from their home.
My child carries a large musical instrument and/or a heavy backpack; or he/she is the only student using the bus stop, the stop needs to be closer to our home.
Generally, bus stops are centrally located for all students. Bus stops are not changed to accommodate one or more students because that may displace other students further from their home. Even though other students are not all riding the bus we must keep bus stops as they have been published. A central bus stop is necessary because other students may begin riding the bus or new families may move into the neighborhood.
It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their child arrives safely at the bus stop.
The bus drives right past my house. Why can’t it stop at my house?
The higher frequency of stops can make the motoring public “impatient.” This results in drivers driving around the bus and causes greater safety concerns than the distance a student has to walk to the bus stop. It also delays the bus by increasing the number of stops, making overall student ride time longer.
I own a daycare and need the stop at my house because the state requires me to see the students at all times. Why can’t the bus stop be located at my house?
As noted above, bus stops are centrally located and at intersections. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the daycare provider to get the students to the bus stop.
I have young children at home and/or I leave home because of work.
In order to be consistent and fair in placement of bus stops, the school district is not able to establish stops based on personal circumstances.
What is the maximum length of time for a bus route?
Routes will be established so no student rides the bus for more than one hour and 15 minutes one way.
Preschool routes will be established so no student rides the bus for more than 45 minutes one way.
What do I need to do?
- Arrange for your students to be at their bus stop five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
- Be aware that the bus will pick up and drop off students at the same stop every day school is in session.
- Help your children learn their bus numbers.
- Review with your children the bus safety rules outlined in this book.
- Accompany younger children to the bus stop and meet the bus at the end of the day for the first days of school, or arrange for an older child or child care provider to be at the bus stop for the first days of school.
- Understand that the bus pick-up and drop-off times are based on existing weather and road conditions. Traffic congestion, road construction, inclement weather and population changes may cause minor adjustments in pick-up times. Parents will be notified of any major changes in bus schedules that will affect their child.
What if my child needs to be dropped off at a different stop?
Students may be picked up or dropped off at a destination other than their normal bus stop only when requested in writing by the student’s parent or guardian and signed by the school principal. The written request must be approved by the principal and given to the bus driver each time a different drop-off or pick-up point is desired.