Transportation Services

Coordinating the safe and efficient travel of students to and from school every day.

Welcome to Transportation Services

The School District of Philadelphia Department of Transportation Services transports over 41,000 students on more than 2,000 routes to 255 public schools, 123 charter schools, and over 440 non-public schools in and around Philadelphia. Additionally, they provide over 65,000 Fare Cards to eligible students.

The buses are equipped with GPS to ensure efficient, safe, and secure transportation, allowing the District to track vehicle locations and promote route efficiency and safety.

Employee Transportation: Reserve a Pool Car or Request a Vehicle for Student Activities, Sports, and Field Trips.

Check the Status of Your Bus

Updates are posted daily, with morning delays by 6:30 AM and afternoon delays by noon.

Dispatch and Customer Service

For transportation inquiries or scheduling, contact us from 6:30 AM until the last student is off the bus.

Flat Rate Monthly Form

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Learn more about the Flat Rate program. 


Transportation Departments

Garage Operations, Locations & Contact Information

The Department of Transportation Services is fully committed to providing safe and efficient transportation to our students in Philadelphia.

The ability to serve our student transportation needs is an integral part of the education for all students within the School District as the school bus is an extension of the classroom. Drivers receive extensive training and receive hours of professional development training to comply with all new and existing laws pertaining to student transportation.

Vendor Services & Contact Information

Our office is responsible for administering the service contracts for over 2100 bus and cab/van routes daily.


Scheduling Analysts create bus stops, design routes, and assign students for all District, Charter and Approved Private Schools according to Pennsylvania Department of Education and District guidelines.

Scheduling Analysts also respond to Transportation Action Requests (TARs) submitted by school administrators in the order they are received. TARs typically take 5-7 school days from the day of submission to be processed. Longer processing times may be encountered at the start of school and other peak times. For information about our Routing Guidelines, please click here.

If you are a parent or guardian, and you want to make changes to your student’s transportation, please request that your school administrator submits a Transportation Action Requests (TAR) to the Department of Transportation Services.

Fleet Management

The Fleet Maintenance Division is responsible for Yellow Bus and Non-Bus automotive maintenance.

  • The Division operates out of four major garage facilities within Garage Operations to maintain approximately 700 District-owned school buses, trucks, autos and vans.
  • The Fleet Maintenance Division is responsible for maintaining the fleet inventory registration, including ownership and licensing records, providing District vehicle specifications to ensure consistency, and monitoring the District’s alternative fuel inventory and infrastructure

School Bus Maintenance (SBM)

SBM is responsible for providing scheduled preventive maintenance and repair to more than 400 District-owned school buses. All mechanics are licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to perform inspections and to provide emergency road service and towing for buses at the garage locations.

Automotive Services

Automotive Services is responsible for the maintenance and repair of more than 400 general-purpose vehicles, excluding school buses. The vehicles are used primarily by personnel working for Facilities Services and the Office of School Climate and Safety. Automotive Services schedules and performs preventive maintenance, state inspections of non-bus vehicles, emissions inspection and emergency road and towing assistance.

School Bus Cancellations or Delays

Find a list of school bus runs that are either canceled or delayed by 30 minutes or more. This information is updated daily by the assigned garage. Morning service delays will be posted by 6:30 AM, and afternoon service delays will be posted by 12:00 PM.

Set Up Notifications About Delays

Bus Status - AM

Bus Status - FM

Requesting Transportation

Parents/guardians who need to request transportation for their child must make the request at the child’s enrolled school. Please refer to the Transportation Eligibility Guidelines below to determine if a child is eligible for TransPass or Yellow Bus transportation.

Please be prepared to provide the school administration with the most up-to-date phone number and residential address for your child when requesting transportation.

Click here to read the District Transportation Guidelines

Transportation Eligibility Guidelines

The eligibility requirements for students in the District are based on mileage, grade level of student, location and residency.

  • Yellow Bus Transportation is typically provided for students in grades 1 through 6 who live 1.5 miles or more from the assigned school.
  • Students in grades 7 through 12 who live 1.5 miles or farther from school are eligible for free Student TransPasses.

There may be additional special exceptions around a student’s transportation. For more information contact your school.

The Department of Transportation Services uses a web-based routing application called COMPASS. The Scheduling Department will use COMPASS to map routes based on eligibility information in the system and is responsible for determining final transportation assignments for Philadelphia resident students. We do not utilize any other geographic mapping or data from other programs in our routing process.

What type of bus stop will my student be assigned?
All regular education students will be placed at a neighborhood stop. Most neighborhood stops are within 1.5 miles from the student’s home.

Students With Disabilities will be assigned to a stop based on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). In most cases, the stop will be a curb-to-curb pick-up at the home which means the bus will meet the student at the curb/sidewalk in front of the stop. It does not mean that the driver or attendant will meet the student at their door.

In the event that the driver is not able to make it down the street due to weather or obstructions, the driver or bus attendant for the route will come down the block to meet the child and bring him or her to the bus.

Students With Disabilities

For the Department of Transportation Services to provide special transportation or additional support, the need must be documented in a student’s most recent finalized Individualized Education Plan (IEP). If no specialized transportation is noted, a child’s transportation eligibility will be determined based on the general eligibility rules outlined in the Eligibility Guidelines.

Determining eligibility is an IEP team decision. If you think your child requires additional support on the bus, please talk to your school about having an IEP meeting to discuss options.

Extended School Year (ESY)

Extended School Year (ESY) services are free special education services provided to students with disabilities beyond the regular 180-day school year. The primary purpose of ESY is to maintain the progress the student made on his or her most critical goals and objectives during the regular school year. ESY eligibility is determined by a child’s IEP team.

  • ESY Parent Notification Letters will be sent out to the home address on file starting in late May with preliminary routing information.
  • If the pick-up or drop-off address needs to be changed, a student will not be attending ESY, or you will transport your student for ESY, please contact your school.

For more information regarding the ESY program, click here.

Parent Flat Rate Program

The School District of Philadelphia will continue the program to provide a monthly payment to eligible parents who choose to opt out of District bus, van or cab assignments and instead drive their child to and from school.

  • All registered families will receive $300 per month ($3,000 for the school year) for transporting their child to and from school.
  • We also offer the option for families to receive $150 per month ($1,500 for the school year) to transport their child to school in the morning but still utilize bus, van or cab services in the afternoon.
  • There is no option for utilizing busing services in the AM and the parent/guardian only transports the student in the afternoon. 

2024-25 Program Policy Change

This policy change goes into effect for 2024-25, and does not influence payment eligibility for previous years.

In contrast to recent years, an application will not be required for students that were registered in the program at the conclusion of the 2023-24 school year. If still eligible, these students will automatically be rolled over into the program for the 2024-25 school year. Please note, if you were not registered in 2023-24, or you were removed during the school year and wish to participate once again, an Enrollment Form must be submitted. The Enrollment Form goes live on the web page June 1, 2024.

  • If your child will need to return to busing services for the upcoming school year, please reach out to your school and request they submit the proper documentation to be added to a bus, van or cab assignment.
  • The student will be placed in whichever portion of the program they participated in at the close of the 2023-24 school year.
    • If you wish to change the portion (i.e., $150/month AM busing services only), please contact your school and request they submit the proper documentation.
  • Eligibility must be redetermined if the student has changed residences since the close of the 2023-24 school year, has transferred schools, or the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) has been adjusted.

Program Updates

  • ***** Submitting a Monthly Payment Form does not mean you are registered in the program. If you did not apply during the four month application period, and were not placed in the program by a school official, you are not yet eligible to receive payments.
  • Please allow for 30 days from the conclusion of the month to receive your payment. Payments are not issued until the calendar month has concluded, your form is verified, and attendance is confirmed by your child’s school.
  • The $150/month option is only applicable to families who choose to transport their child in the AM and utilize busing in the afternoon. There is no option for utilizing busing in the morning and transporting the student in the afternoon.
  • For Income Tax Purposes – The School District of Philadelphia does not issue 1099 Tax Forms. However, it is recommended you report the income to your tax expert when reporting your quarterly or annual income taxes.
  • If you have been approved for the program to receive monthly payments please submit the Monthly Payment Form toward the end of each month.
  • Please Note – Payments are not issued until the month has concluded and attendance can be verified. Payments are mailed to the address the school has on file. If there is a discrepancy with the address on file and the address submitted on the Monthly Payment Form, payment will be delayed.
  • The program is applicable from September through June only. The program does not apply to summer classes or ESY. Payments are not issued pertaining to July or August.


Application period to enroll for the 2024-25 school year
June 1 through October 1, 2024 

Enrollment Form:

If you miss the deadline you can still participate. Please reach out to your school’s transportation representative and ask them to submit a Transportation Action Request (TAR) to be placed in the program. If eligible, you will be added, but not effective for payment until the month the TAR is submitted.

Monthly Process & Payment Form

Each month, the Monthly Payment Form will be submitted by the parent/guardian. A link to the form can be found on the sidebar to the right side of the webpage. A principal or authorized school official will also submit the Monthly Payment Form to confirm attendance (students must attend 70% of in-person days for the month to qualify for a payment).

Monthly Payment Form

This form is NOT an application.

Your child must be registered for the program prior to submitting this form. Parents/Guardians registered in either the Flat Rate Program or the Mileage Reimbursement Program must submit this form at the end of each month to qualify for payment.

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Eligibility varies by school and student. If the student, and attending school, are eligible for District-provided bus, cab, or van services, then the student is eligible for the Flat Rate Program. Several factors influence whether the child is eligible for bus, van, or cab services including but not limited to:

    • Philadelphia Resident – The student must be a resident of the city of Philadelphia.
    • Distance to school – Students generally must reside 1.5 miles or greater from the school.
    • Grade Level – Generally, busing services are provided to students in grades 1st through 5th (Grade level eligibility varies by school).
    • Hazardous Route – Designated schools have eligible students whose route to school is determined to be hazardous by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
    • Individualized Education Plan – A student has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) specific to transportation.
    • School Participation – Your school receives District-provided busing services.
  • Please Note – Families who utilize the school selection option, are generally NOT eligible for busing services.

Student Transportation ID

In order to receive the monthly payment in a timely manner, it is imperative to enter the correct Student Transportation ID on the Monthly Payment Form.

  • The ID can be obtained by contacting your school or by emailing and requesting your child’s Transportation ID.

Please see below for important details when submitting the ID:

  • The Transportation ID may differ from your child’s school ID.
  • Please do not enter any characters when submitting the ID other than numbers or letters. For example, please do not enter symbols such as: (/), (@), or (-).
  • If your child’s ID begins with a C or an S the next two digits will always be a zero. Please do not follow these letters with the letter, “O.”
  • If your child does not have a Transportation ID, in order to receive payments, one will need to be generated by a school official.

Address Discrepancy

If your child’s address changes during the school year, please follow the procedure below. This is how the information must be entered on the initial Monthly Payment Form when the residence was first updated:

  • Enter the previous address on the “Address Line.”
  • Enter the updated address on the “Change of Address Line.”
  • You will also need to contact your school and have a school official update the address in the Transportation System. If the address is not updated in the system by a school official, payments cannot be processed.


Please take note of the guidelines below in order to receive the monthly payment.

  • The monthly payment is per household, not per child.
  • The program is for students that are eligible for District-provided busing. Students that are only eligible to receive a SEPTA Fare Card are not eligible.
  • In order to participate in the Flat Rate Program a Vehicle Information Number (VIN) must be entered on the Monthly Payment Form. If the individual VIN cannot be verified for each household, payment will not be issued. One VIN for multiple households will not be accepted.
  • Students are required to attend 70% of their school’s in-person days in order to qualify for that month’s payment.
  • For the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, in order to participate from the start of that school year an Enrollment Form was required during one of the two application periods. All families were required to apply in order to participate. If you were registered for the program in previous years an Enrollment Form was still mandatory. Submitting the Monthly Payment Form did not mean the student was in the program prior to applying.
  • The program is only applicable for September through June.
  • Each month an authorized school official must verify the days attended for that specific month through the Monthly Payment Form.
  • One Monthly Payment Form will be filled out per household. If more than one child in the household is being transported, please enter the same child’s information each month.
  • The parent/guardian and the school official must include the correct Transportation ID on the Monthly Payment Form. If the ID is entered incorrectly, payments may be delayed.

Please contact your child’s school for any additional information. You may also email with any questions or concerns.

Liability Policy

By signing up for the Parent Flat Rate Program, you agree to the following policy:
“In consideration of and in exchange for the monthly transportation reimbursement I will receive, I, for myself, my child, my executors and assigns, agree to undertake and provide for the school transportation needs of my child and agree that The School District of Philadelphia shall not be responsible for or liable in any way for school transportation of my child. I further agree to release and forever discharge The School District of Philadelphia and its agents, officers, employees and volunteers from any claim that I might have myself or that I could bring on my child’s behalf with regard to any claim or claims, damages, demands or actions whatsoever, including those based on negligence, in any manner arising out of this transportation.”

Enroll for the 2024-25 School Year

June 1 through October 1, 2024

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SEPTA Student Fare Card & Safety

The SEPTA Student Fare Card is a reusable chipped card used by students to board a SEPTA trolley, Regional Rail, bus or subway. Unlike the disposable weekly Transpass, students will keep and use the same SEPTA Student Fare Card for the entire school year.

Lost, stolen, or damaged card? Reach out to your school to request a replacement.

Guidelines & Eligibility


  • The Department of Transportation Services’ Scheduling Department determines student eligibility for Fare Cards based on specific criteria. Information on eligibility can be found HERE.


  • SEPTA Student Fare Cards will be valid for travel to and from school with a limit of no more than 8 taps per day, during the hours of 5:30am and 8:00pm.
    • School resources should reach out to the Department of Transportation Services regarding any student who requires more than eight daily taps.
  • A “Tap”, like fare, it is how you gain access to the SEPTA system and how a SEPTA Student Fare Card transaction is recorded.
  • A SEPTA Student Fare Card is only valid for travel by the eligible Student and cannot be shared.
  • There is no cost to the Student or Parent/Guardian for this card, as SEPTA transportation is provided through the School District.
  • It is important that students notify their School Administrator in the event their SEPTA Student Fare Card is lost, stolen, or damaged.


How will my student receive a card?

  • On the first day of school, all forms of transportation on SEPTA including buses, trains, and Regional Rail will be free to students so they can get to school safely on their first day.
  • Once at school, the new Fare Cards will be distributed to students by a school official.

How will the Department of Transportation notify families about the SEPTA Student Fare Card?

  • The Department of Transportation Services will send Parent Notification Letters (PNLs) to the families of students who are currently eligible for Fare Cards.

When can the SEPTA Student Fare Card be used?

  • The SEPTA Student Fare Card is active for each designated school day from the hours of 5:30 am to 8:00 pm.
  • SEPTA Student Fare Cards will not be operational on national holidays, weekends, and predetermined non-school days.

What is a “Tap?”

  • A tap is SEPTA’s term for accessing transportation. It is a remote accessible way of entering the mode of public transportation, by using the SEPTA Student Key Card.
  • Students will “tap” their SEPTA Student Key Card as they board each mode of transportation.
  • Each SEPTA Student Key Card will be programmed with a maximum of eight taps per day.
    • School resources should reach out to the Department of Transportation Services regarding any student who requires more than eight daily taps.

How are students expected to get to school on the first day, if they won’t yet have their card?

  • SEPTA will allow students to travel for free on the first day of school. No changes have been made to the existing process regarding transportation on the first day of school.

Which holidays are blocked on all SEPTA Student Fare Cards?

In addition to published school holidays no SEPTA Student Fare Card is operational on the dates below. If your school needs SEPTA Student Fare Cards activated for any of these dates, please have a school official send an email to Please review the school calendar for additional days that the SEPTA Student Fare Card is not operational.

2024-25  School Year

  • Monday, September 2nd – Labor Day
  • Thursday, November 28th – Thanksgiving
  • Wednesday, December 25th – Christmas
  • Wednesday, January 1st – New Year’s Day
  • Monday, January 20th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Monday, February 17th – Presidents Day
  • Monday, May 25th – Memorial Day

What happens when a SEPTA Student Key Card is lost, stolen or damaged?

  • Schools will be given an inventory and have the ability to distribute replacement cards to students who report their assigned SEPTA Student Key Card as lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Schools will need to report cards as lost, stolen or damaged in the SEPTA Student Key Card application. Reported cards will be sent to SEPTA nightly for deactivation.
  • After an assigned SEPTA Student Key Card has been marked as lost, stolen or damaged in the SEPTA Student Key Card application, the school can assign a replacement card to the student, which will be active for the next school day.
  • Once a SEPTA Student Key Card has been deactivated by SEPTA, it can not be reactivated.

Are there any restrictions on when the SEPTA Student Key Cards can be used for transportation services?

  • SEPTA Student Key Cards will be active for each designated school day from the hours of 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Will new SEPTA Student Key Cards be needed for all students at the start of each school year?

  • Students who remain eligible for transportation services and are enrolled in the same school as the previous school year will be able to utilize their SEPTA Student Key Card for the new school year.
  • Students who are enrolled in a new school from the previous school year, will need to be re-evaluated for eligibility and if eligible will require a new SEPTA Student Key Card assigned for the new school year.

If a student loses, damages or has their card stolen before getting to school, how do they gain access to transportation that morning?

  • The student will be responsible for getting to school that morning and the school will issue a replacement card. The replacement card will not be activated until the following morning.

If the students are not able to gain access to their transportation due to a problem with the SEPTA Student Key Card and/or SEPTA hardware, will the dispatcher permit them to ride?

  • SEPTA has informed the District, students participating in the program that experience transportation issues can show the SEPTA employee a SEPTA Student Key Card and will be permitted to access transportation services.
  • Ridership issues should be reported by the student to the school as soon as possible.

A student forgot their SEPTA Student Key Card on their way to transportation. Will the student be able to gain access to ride?

  • The student will be responsible for getting to and from school for that day. Replacement cards should only be issued in the event the card is lost, stolen or
Septa Student Fare Card Overview
How The Student Fare Card Works
How To Get An Activated Card

SEPTA Resources

The safe transportation of students requires responsible behavior by all persons who ride SEPTA regional rail and transit.

Students can board/disembark the bus only at their designated stop.

General Safety Guidelines

  • Be careful when going up or down stairs.
  • Stand back from the edge of the platform.
  • Never jump onto the tracks for any reason.
  • If the train is stuck between stations, stay in the train and follow instructions.
  • Do not ride between cars.
  • Do not attempt to get on the train after it has started moving.
  • If there are no seats, hold onto a pole or overhead bar.
  • Do not write on the seats or walls of a train.

Bus Safety Guidelines

A safe, reliable, efficient and on-time student transportation system depends on a strong partnership between parents, guardians, school administration, and the Department of Transportation Services. Good student behavior while entering, riding, and leaving the bus contributes in many ways to safe transportation.

Please refer to the School Bus Behavior Guidelines for guidelines for bus riders to help ensure that every student has a safe ride to and from school. For every rider’s safety, the driver’s attention must not be diverted by misbehavior on the bus.

Safety Tips for Students Riding a Bus

  • Get to the bus stop at least ten minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Wait until the bus stops, the red school bus lights flash, the door opens, and the driver says that it is okay before stepping onto the bus.
  • Show respect for property around the bus stop. Avoid littering or walking on planted areas.
  • Do not approach the bus while it is still moving.
  • For safety reasons, parents are prohibited from entering the school bus, according to Pennsylvania’s unauthorized bus entry statute, 18 Pa. C.S. § 5571, and may be subject to a fine if they violate this mandate.
  • Walk toward the bus in an orderly line.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least ten feet ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
  • Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing with drawstrings and book bags with straps are not caught in the handrails or doors.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • After you get off the bus, walk a safe distance of ten feet from the side of the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to retrieve the item without telling the bus driver, as she or he may not see you.


The Transportation Department is always looking for new members to join our fleet. Learn more about our training programs and open positions below.

Bus Driver Trainee
Learn how to drive a school bus through our training program designed for new drivers with little to no prior experience, and obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Learn More

Bus Driver
A SDP Bus Driver operates a school bus for the School District of Philadelphia. They provide transportation to students on regularly scheduled routes to and from school sites during the school day and after school hours, and on school-sponsored field trips, and may provide transportation to School District employees from and to selected work sites. Learn More

Bus Attendant
Monitors special education students on buses, maintaining order and discipline for safe transportation, ensuring orderly boarding and exiting, providing basic first aid, and assisting with supplies. Learn More


Is my child/student eligible for transportation services?

Transportation is determined by the School District of Philadelphia Transportation Eligibility Guidelines. To request transportation services, contact your child’s attending school. Please be prepared to provide the school administration with the most up-to-date phone number and residential address for your child when requesting transportation.

My Google Map says I am 1.51 miles away from the school. Why is my child not receiving transportation services?

The Scheduling Department uses COMPASS to map routes based on eligibility information in the system and is responsible for determining final transportation assignments for Philadelphia resident students. We don’t utilize any other geographic mapping or data from other programs in our routing process.

I live 1.49 miles away. Do you round the number up?

We do not round up. The Scheduling Department strictly adheres to the eligibility information in the COMPASS routing system.

What is COMPASS?

The Department of Transportation Services uses a web-based routing application called COMPASS which utilizes the leading geographic information system (GIS) platform from Esri. The Scheduling Department will use COMPASS to map routes based on eligibility information in the system and is responsible for determining final transportation assignments for Philadelphia resident students. We don’t utilize any other geographic mapping or data from other programs in our routing process.

How can I find out where my bus stop is located?

A Parent Notification Letters (PNL) is sent to parents of students who ride the school bus. PNLs provide the name of the student, the school the student attends, the route number and the pick-up time and location.

When will my letter arrive with my bus route?

Parents should receive their PNL approximately one week prior to school opening. If it less than one week before the start of school and your student hasn’t received his/her PNL, please contact our Transportation Dispatch Department at 215-400-4350 for more information.

Is my child/student’s bus stop a curb-to-curb or a corner stop?

Curb-to-curb stops are intended for special needs students or as part of a medical plan documented in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Agreement. All other students will receive corner stops. The bus stop will be available to parents and guardians in the Parent Notification Letter (PNL) that is sent to all parents of students that have Yellow Bus transportation.

How far may a child be asked to walk to a school bus stop?

Students attending a Non-Public school are eligible for transportation from the School District of Philadelphia. The Routing Department will determine the best corner stop for the student and the bus route that is less than 1.5 miles from the student’s home address. Most students walk less than 0.5 miles to their assigned stop.

What are the student ridership responsibilities?

The student ridership responsibilities can be found below in PDF form in English, Spanish, and Chinese:

I drive my child/student to school. Can I be reimbursed for my personal transportation costs?

Please visit our Parent Flat Rate program page for more information.

I am moving. Who do I notify about changing my bus stop?

Parents must notify the student’s school regarding any address changes, phone number changes, or updated transportation requests.

During Inclement Weather, what happens to my child's bus?

During 2-hour delayed openings, the bus will arrive at your designated stop 2 hours after the original time. For information about school closings, please view our Inclement Weather Page.

My bus is late. Who should I contact?

The Transportation Call Center is staffed with representatives that are available to answer your questions from 6:30 am until the last student is off the bus and is safely home. To reach our Call Center, call 215-400-4350 and choose from the menu options. You can also email us at, or check the AM/PM bus status report.

Who is responsible for my child on the way to and from the bus stop?

The parent/guardian is responsible for the safety and conduct of their child/children on the way to and from their stop or while waiting at the bus stop.

Can a 7th grade student or above ride the bus with a younger sibling?

Siblings who are not eligible for Yellow Bus transportation cannot ride the bus with their siblings. We can provide the younger students with a TransPass and take them off the Yellow Bus so the siblings can commute together.

What time will my student be picked up and dropped off?

The morning pick up time for the student will be listed on the PNL letter, and students should be at the stop.