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.
FAQs for Families
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.
We do not round up. The Scheduling Department strictly adheres to the eligibility information in the COMPASS routing system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please speak to your student’s School Administration for any questions regarding personal transportation costs.
Parents must notify the student’s school regarding any address changes, phone number changes, or updated transportation requests.
The Transportation Dispatch Department is staffed with five customer service representatives that are available to answer your questions from 5:30 am until the last student is off the bus and is safely home. To reach our Dispatchers, call 215-400-4350 and choose from the menu options.
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.
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.
The morning pick up time for the student will be listed on the PNL letter, and students should be at the stop 10 minutes prior to their pick up time. There are many factors that may affect the time a driver arrives at a given stop. Daily traffic patterns and student loads are unpredictable and may cause a driver’s time to vary. These situations, plus differences in clock times, have proven over the years that arriving ten minutes early gives students an adequate window of time to ensure they catch the bus. Because the same is true in the PM, we cannot specify a drop off time in the afternoon. Parents are expected to be available at the time the bus arrives with the student.
Because drivers are responsible for arriving on time to each stop, including stops for any other students on the route after your child, drivers will not wait for students. Keep in mind that longer wait times can lead to significant delays at any other stops on the route. Students should be ready to board 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time.
Because drivers are responsible for arriving on time to each stop, including stops for any other students on the route after your child, drivers will not return to pick up students that missed the bus. Students should be ready to board 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time.
Transportation sees the school bus as an extension of the classroom. While drivers are responsible for reporting incidents as they occur, it is recommended that you reach out directly to your child’s school for more information. Principals will review the situation and make a determination on next steps for your child. You may also contact the office of Family and Community Engagement to report incidents at 215-400-4180.
We will only accommodate alternate a.m. and p.m. stops if the stop already exists on an established route and the stop is for all five days of the week. Requests for changes should be submitted by an administrator at your child’s school.
Your student’s school will provide him/her with a weekly TransPass on the first day of school. Each week, your student will receive a new pass for the following week.
The District does not replace lost or stolen TransPasses. Student passes are not sold to the public and cannot be replaced. You may purchase a regular adult TransPass or other fare products at an approved SEPTA location.