Requesting Transportation for Your Students

How do you get started finding a school bus for your student?

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 to determine if your 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.

If you have any more questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for Families.

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.

If your child requires additional transportation supports or has Special Needs, please visit our Special Needs Transportation page for more information.

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 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. If you would like to estimate the distance from your home address to school, we have found that using Google’s Walking Directions often matches the distance provided by COMPASS.

What type of bus stop will my student be assigned?
All regular education students will be placed at a corner stop. Most corner stops are within 1.5 miles from the student’s home.
Students With Disabilities will be assigned to a stop based on what is indicated in 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.

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 your child’s IEP team. Please speak to your school if you have eligibility questions.

Parent Notification Letters will be sent out to the home address on file in June with preliminary routing information. If the pick-up or drop-off address needs to be changed, your 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, please refer to the Office of Specialized Services ESY page.

In order for the Department of Transportation Services to provide special transportation or additional support, the need must be documented in your student’s most recent finalized Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Your student will need to have a completed Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in order to request transportation. Determining this eligibility is an IEP team decision. If no specialized transportation is noted, your child’s transportation eligibility will be determined based on the general eligibility rules outlined in the Eligibility Guidelines.

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

If you have concerns regarding events on the bus or to report issues, please contact your school administrators or visit our Customer Feedback page. You may also call the Department of Transportation Services Customer Service at 215-400-4350 and select option 3.

Date Adopted: April 27, 1981
1. Purpose

Transportation for students shall be provided in accordance with law and the following guidelines.

2. Authority

The Board shall purchase, equip and maintain vehicles and contract for school bus services and utilize common carrier or municipally owned transit system for the transportation of students to and from school at regularly scheduled hours and for transportation of students on field trips and athletic trips.

The Board will also provide transportation for students living within the limits of this policy when the walking conditions to the school are found to be hazardous by the Department of Transportation.

The Board will transport handicapped children without regard for distance or hazardous walking conditions.

When public schools are closed city-wide, no transportation shall be provided for any Philadelphia pupil attending non-public schools.

3. Delegation of Responsibility

The Superintendent shall maintain such records and make such reports regarding school transportation as are required by the State Board of Education and promulgate rules governing student conduct during transport to and from school. Such rules shall be binding on all students transported by the Board.

School Code: SS 1361, 1362
PA Code Title 22: SS 23.212, 23.4, 23.4(4 iii), 23.32