Student, Parent, and District Responsibilities: Bus Transportation

Albuquerque Public Schools, students and parents all bear the responsibility of ensuring that bus transportation to and from school remains safe.

APS School Bus

Working together, recognizing and understanding each other’s responsibilities will help the district and families keep the system running smoothly. Student safety comes first.

The rules below apply to field trips and activities as well as regular school transportation.


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 an 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 more than two miles from school; to middle school students whose home address is more than one and one-half miles from school; to students that attend a K-8 school whose home address is more than one and one-half miles from school; and to elementary school students whose home address is more than one mile 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

My your child’s bus more than 20 minutes late. What do I do?

  • Call the bus contractor that transports your child.
  • You will need to know your child’s bus number as well as the school he or she attends and the stop location.
  • During peak times, the office receives a high volume of calls. If your call is not answered, you may call APS Police at (505) 243-7712.

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 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?

Yes, some drivers are employed by APS while others are privately-held bus companies. APS contracts with 10 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 we'll work with the company to resolve the situation.

Remember, riding the bus is a privilege.

Student Transportation Handbook

The Student Transportation Handbook covers eligibility, discipline, schedule for snow days/delays, stops/routes, evacuation drills, activity trips, students receiving modified services, and student/parent responsibilities.