FAQs for Families

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.

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.

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

Please speak to your student’s School Administration for any questions regarding personal transportation costs.

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.

My bus is late.  Who should I contact?

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.

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 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.

My driver did not wait for my child to come outside.

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.

My child missed the bus.  Will the driver come back?

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.

My child was bullied on the bus.  Who can I contact?

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.

What if I need the bus to drop off my child at a location other than the home or morning pick-up location?

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.

When will my child receive his TransPass?

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.

I lost my TransPass.  What should I do?

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.