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Posted August 20, 2013

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Contact Student Transportation if You Have Concerns about Buses

The department oversees 16 bus contractors that pick up and drop off more than 41,000 students each day.

Questions or concerns about buses? Contact Student Transportation at 880-3989.

Parents who have concerns about APS buses are encouraged to contact the Student Transportation Office at 880-3989. These include concerns about a bus that is more than 20 minutes late, the location of a bus stop and complaints about a bus driver.

During peak times, the office receives a high volume of calls. If your call is not answered immediately and you feel it is an emergency, call APS Police at 243-7712. You should know your child’s bus number as well as the school he or she attends and the stop location.

APS Student Transportation Services oversees 16 bus contractors that transport more than 41,000 children each day to over 140 locations. The district uses more than 400 contract buses and 80 additional spare buses that travel more than 6 million miles a year.

School transportation is provided throughout the regular school year and during the summer for extended school year programs. In addition, transportation is provided for various school-sponsored activities.

APS, students and parents all bear the responsibility of ensuring that bus transportation to and from school remains safe. Working together, recognizing and understanding each other’s responsibilities will help the district and families keep the system running smoothly. Student safety comes first.

Tips for Riding the Bus

Student Responsibilities

Parent Responsibilities

APS Responsibilities

FAQs

Student Responsibilities

  • Follow the driver’s directions promptly.
  • Arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes before the bus’ scheduled arrival time.
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the doors are opened before approaching the bus.
  • Use the handrail. Be careful that no clothing or belongings get caught on the handrail.
  • Sit in assigned seats, facing forward, feet on the floor, and speak in a normal tone of voice.
  • Middle and high school students are required to show their student ID cards upon request.
  • Glass items, live animals, weapons or other dangerous objects are prohibited on the bus, as are large objects that will block the aisles.
  • Follow the provisions of the APS Student Behavior Handbook including the expectations of citizenship such as respecting authority, property and the rights of others; avoiding confrontation and any activity that has the potential to cause a verbal or physical conflict; maintaining standards of integrity and responsibility; maintaining a safe environment; and reporting any/all information/circumstances related to safety and problems (fights, weapons, or drugs). Students are reminded that the district Student Behavior Handbook is in effect while students are riding the bus and infractions will be dealt with according to provisions in the handbook.

Parent Responsibilities

  • Make sure your child knows his/her bus number, what stop to get off at, home address and phone number.
  • Make sure your child understands bus safety rules and expected behavior.
  • Make sure your child arrives at the designated bus stop 10 minutes prior to the bus’ scheduled arrival time.
  • Parents must be present to meet kindergarten students. Kindergarteners will not be left unattended at a bus stop in the afternoon if a parent is not there to meet the child unless APS and the bus company have prior written approval from the parent to allow the student to be left unattended or go home with an older sibling.
  • Notify the school of any changes to contact information so parents can be notified in case of emergency.
  • Be responsible for any observed damage caused by their children on the bus or at the bus stop.

APS Responsibilities

  • Provide bus transportation to high school students whose home address is two or more miles from school; to middle school students whose home address is one and one-half miles or more from school; and to elementary school students whose home address is one mile or more from school.
  • Does not provide school bus transportation to transfer students.
  • Provide written notice if there is a need to change a bus route for a safety issue.
  • Pick up and drop off students only at their assigned stops.
  • Return a student back to school in the event that he/she is left on-board the bus at the end of the route due to the child getting on the wrong bus, not knowing where he/she lives, etc.
  • Provide special needs transportation according to terms identified in a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • Ensure safe transportation to and from school for all students. That includes exercising the right to suspend riding privileges of students who fail to follow the rules of ridership.
  • Provide regularly updated information on the Student Transportation Services website.

FAQs

Will my child be picked up and dropped off at the same stop at the same time every day?
Yes, your child will be picked and dropped off at his/her assigned stop each day. Parents should make sure their child is at the stop 10 minutes before the bus arrives. Buses will leave a school about seven minutes after the dismissal bell rings in the afternoon. Note that a driver cannot accept any notes authorizing a student to be dropped off at a point other than the student’s regular stop.

Will my child have the same driver every day?
Your child may have different drivers for the morning pick up and afternoon drop off, but every effort is made to ensure that the same driver serves the same students each day.

Can the driver stop at my house to pick up or drop off my child?
Only certain students whose needs are addressed through a Special Education IEP or 504 are eligible for home pick up or drop off service. Communication between the school administrative office, the APS Student Transportation Office, the school bus contractor or student’s bus driver and parents or guardians is encouraged so that a student’s IEP plan is implemented effectively.

To whom should I report my address or telephone number change?
The school should be contacted as soon as possible with address or telephone number change information.

Why wasn’t I called when the bus was late?
Some of the situations that cause lateness include traffic and road conditions, weather, vehicle breakdowns or a prior bus route being late. Because the district operates nearly 500 buses, it is virtually impossible to contact parents when the bus is slightly late. When the APS Student Transportation Office is advised by a school bus contractor that one of their buses will be running late, we will contact the school administration office.

Are bus drivers employed by APS?
No, drivers are employed by privately-held bus companies. APS contracts with 16 bus companies to provide transportation. The district can request that a driver be removed from a route, but employment decisions are left to the bus companies. Please report any issues regarding drivers to APS Student Transportation Services, and they we'll work with the company to resolve the situation.

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