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Frequently Asked Questions

PGCPS has implemented several solutions to address on-time arrivals and improve communication. These include centralized bus stops, GPS-enabled tablets on buses, and better tracking software. Below, please find our most frequently asked questions. Outstanding questions should be submitted through our Transportation Resolution System Transportation Resolution System

QUESTION

ANSWER

Who is eligible for bus transportation?

PGCPS provides safe transportation to and from school for enrolled students living beyond one and one-half (1½ ) for elementary students and two (2) miles or more for middle and high school students from their assigned schools.  Reference AP 3541 for more details.

How will I know if my child has been assigned for transportation?  

Please click here to access the Transportation Resolution System for your concerns.

NOTE:  Parents may want to check transportation assignments by contacting their school of enrollment to verify registration has been completed.  If registration has not been completed, the Department of Transportation cannot guarantee an assigned bus before the first day of school.

How are students assigned to bus stops?  

The locations of bus stops have been optimized by a routing program taking into account the traffic safety issues and student addresses.  In most cases, bus stops are at the safest corners.  Reference AP 3541 for more details.

How can I see where the bus stop is near my home?

Families can use our transportation search tool (PGCPS Infofinder i ) to view the closest bus stops to their address for a child’s school. Once routes are finalized and closer to PGCPS school reopenings, families will be able to view pickup and dropoff times via SchoolMax or by contacting their school of enrollment. 

What if I don't find my stop?

If you cannot find your stop, we may not have your correct address. Please contact your school to ensure they have the correct pick-up/drop-off address on file, including any daycare addresses. The Transportation Office does not input address changes. Your child’s school must input the information into the Transportation Module of SchoolMax.   Please refer to bus stop eligibility information and/or click here to access the Transportation Resolution System.

How do I request a bus stop change?

Bus stop change requests for the 2020-2021 school year will be limited. Stop changes will only be considered when a stop distance exceeds the guidelines outlined in Administrative Procedure 3541 - Student Transportation, or when there is an extenuating circumstance that is determined to jeopardize student safety.

Families with an extenuating circumstance may submit their concern through our Transportation Resolution System (TRS).

My child goes to childcare or babysitter in an area with bus service. May my child ride the bus?

Students staying with a babysitter or at a childcare center must meet the criteria of all other eligible riders. If the address of a babysitter or childcare center is not within the student’s residence attendance area, the student must then meet transfer policy requirements. Approved, commercial childcare centers will only be assigned for curb-to-curb stops, when possible. Students at private babysitters will be assigned to the closest neighborhood stop on the route.  Reference AP 3541 for more details.

Can my Preschool student or Kindergarten student get off the bus without someone to receive them?

No.  If there is not a parent/guardian at the stop to receive a preschool or kindergarten student, the bus driver must return the student back to the school. Reference AP 3541.1 for more information.  Click here if you wish to report a concern.

Who should I contact concerning my child’s transportation?

Any concerns should start at the school level and then the transportation office.    Click here if you wish to report a concern.  

My child receives services under a 504 plan or an IEP.  Who should I contact concerning my child’s transportation?

All concerns and requests for special education transportation should begin at the school level. Please contact the school-based transportation coordinator, 504 plan coordinator, or IEP coordinator for your child's school if you wish to schedule a meetingClick here if you wish to report a concern to Transportation.  

We live within the non-transportation zone, but very close to a bus stop for my child’s school. Could my child ride the bus from this stop?

We do not permit a child to ride a school bus if you are within the non-transportation zone area.  Please click here to if you wish to report a concern.  

My child was approved for a transfer request, how do I request a bus assignment?

Bus transportation is not provided for transfer students.  Parents must accept full responsibility for transportation for all approved transfer requests. Students may not ride special buses designated for technical, vocational, career, special education, or other specialty programs. Please see Student Transfer Requests  - Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

How can I arrange to have my child ride a different bus home from school for one day?

During COVID-19 operating procedures, one-day requests to ride another bus will not be honored.

What time does my child need to be at the bus stop? 

It is recommended that students be ready at the bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time and at least 10 minutes after the scheduled pick-up time.  



Why is my child’s bus ride so long?

All PGCPS buses operate on a comprehensive schedule, completing two to four routes in the morning and again in the afternoon. This helps to ensure that the system operates safely and efficiently while working to deliver students to school safely and on time. Because of the number of students needing transportation, and to ensure effective scheduling, the overall bus schedules cannot be adjusted to accommodate an individual request. If your child is attending a school outside of their attendance zone, please be aware that travel times will be longer. 

NOTE: Route schedules/times may be subject to change during a phased, hybrid COVID-19 reopening plan.

My child missed the bus. Can the bus come back to the bus stop? 

A bus cannot return for students who missed the bus. Please be sure your child arrives at the designated bus stop at least 10 minutes ahead of schedule.  

The bus drives right past my house. Why can't it stop at my house? 

Bus stops are placed to allow the buses easy access and egress through neighborhoods while keeping safety a priority. In addition, adding bus stops causes further delays on our bus routes and extends the students' ride time. In the end, this means that bus routes would have to start earlier in the morning to arrive at school on time. Similarly, adding stops in the afternoon would cause students to arrive home later.

Can students bring musical instruments or large objects with them on the bus? 

Musical Instruments and large objects are permitted on the school bus as long as the student can carry an instrument or object on and off of the bus by him/herself. They must be placed in the student's lap. Instruments or large objects cannot block the aisle. Large instruments such as drum kits, cellos, and basses are too large to be transported safely on school buses. In an accident, these items can easily become a projectile and can injure a student. If you are unsure, please check with your child's school before bringing a large musical instrument or object to the bus stop.

NOTE: Policies for carrying equipment on the bus may be subject to change during a phased, hybrid COVID-19 reopening plan.

My child’s bus is overcrowded. Can some children be placed on another bus?

If the bus has three elementary students or two middle or high school students in each seat, it will seem crowded. However, it will not be over capacity. Our goal is to fully utilize all the space on all the buses in our fleet.   Please use the Transportation Resolution System to make an inquiry.

NOTE: Seating capacity may be subject to change during a phased, hybrid COVID-19 reopening plan based on social distancing guidelines.

I witnessed a concern with a bus driver’s operation of a school bus. How do I report this incident to PGCPS? 

Please make a note of the location and time of the incident and, most important, the bus number, posted on the side, front, and rear of the vehicle, along with any additional details. Make your inquiry using the  Transportation Resolution System to record the incident.

How do I locate a lost item on a school bus? 

If a driver finds an item on the bus, he/she will turn the item into the school.  Often, drivers are not able to inspect buses while they are on the road and will check for lost items at their next assignment. We recommend that personal items be stored in the child's backpack. Because electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, iPods, earbuds, and games are very popular, the recovery rate is very low. We recommend that students store these items in secure places, such as their backpacks while traveling to and from school.

The bus driver disciplined my child on the bus today. Does the driver have the right to do this? 

The school bus driver (or attendant) is responsible for the safe operation of the bus. He/she should receive the same level of respect afforded to a classroom teacher, assistant or other school employees. When necessary, drivers or attendants may correct a student. In most cases, that resolves the problem. If the misconduct continues, the driver may complete a "bus conduct referral " to notify the school of the event for further review and, if appropriate, disciplinary action from the school may be followed.

Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook (Section 9: Transportation and Bus Behavior)

Another child is harassing or bullying my child on the bus. What should I do? 

PGCPS has a policy that specifically prohibits "bullying" at school, during school events and field trips, and on a school bus. The bus driver's main focus must be on operating the school bus safely. As a result, the majority of the driver's attention is focused on the road and traffic conditions, so he/she may not see or hear inappropriate behavior among the students on the bus when it occurs. Students who engage in bullying or harassing behaviors are subject to disciplinary action. Please report any problems to your child's school so that appropriate steps may be taken.  

Click here if you wish to report a concern. https://www.pgcps.org/antibullying/

How do I become a Bus Driver or  Bus Attendant?

Please apply  at https://www.pgcps.org/offices/humanresources/careers/drive-with-us

How do I submit a Transportation change/concern online?

Please click on the Transportation Resolution System to request any changes or report concerns online.