Frequently Asked Questions
1) What should I do if the bus doesn’t show up?
Pick up and drop off times will not vary to any great extent on a
normal basis. Circumstances beyond our control could make the bus late
occasionally. Vehicle “break downs”, detours, emergencies, or
weather related problems are a few reasons that could make the bus
late. We will always make sure a bus will be at your stop. If the wait
is longer than fifteen minutes please contact the transportation office
2) My child is not eligible for transportation. Can my child still ride the school bus?
Under certain circumstances, ineligible students may be allowed to ride
the school bus. Medical necessity, safety, special hardship, etc. are
just a few reasons. You may request an exception for your student from
the Superintendent of School by contacting that office at 874-8100.
3) The bus goes right by my house. Why can’t it stop here?
School bus stops are placed in central locations to shorten route
length and travel times. Transportation Services makes every effort to
see that these stops are safe and have appropriate walking routes to
them. In many cases a bus will stop at a front door if there is no
appropriate stop within a reasonable distance. By statute, school buses
must also have at least one hundred feet between bus stops. Please
contact the transportation office if you feel your child’s stop is
unsafe or should otherwise be changed.
4) My child goes to school in one district but my daycare is in another. Can my child ride to and from daycare to school?
Transportation across district lines is not permitted under normal
circumstances. Route timing, distances, and bus capacities make it
impossible to accommodate this type of request.
child is not eligible for transportation but attends a daycare in an
area that is eligible for transportation. Is my child eligible to ride
to and from school from the daycare?
No. A student who is ineligible for “to and from” school transportation
is not eligible to ride to a daycare in an eligible area.
6) I think my child is eligible for transportation but I’m told the distance is not far enough? How do I resolve this?
All home locations within the city use the city tax maps to calculate
distances. They are very accurate. If you feel your child is eligible
contact Transportation Services and they measure the distance.
7) My child occasionally needs to ride home to a different location. Is this possible?
Eligible students may be dropped off at a different location only with
the written permission of a parent or guardian, and only if the
alternate location is eligible for transportation. Parents should
present a note to the school administrator when this becomes necessary.
8) Why do some buses always look empty?
Transportation Services makes every effort to fully maximize bus
capacities. On occasion, buses may not be fully utilized due to the
nature of the transportation. Special Education, ELL, and other
programming needs may dictate fewer students riding a particular bus.
9) What happens if my child looses something on the bus?
Drivers inspect the interior of the bus after each route. Drivers are
instructed to keep all found articles of unknown origin on board the
bus at least one day. Articles may be claimed directly from the driver
or you may contact the transportation office at 874-8240. Unclaimed
articles are kept at the transportation office “lost and found”.
10) Are seat belts required on school buses?
Answer: Seat belts on school buses are not required equipment. School buses utilize the “compartmentalization” concept
to insure student safety. Since the mid - 70’s the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration has determined that this approach to
student safety is the most practical for school buses.
Compartmentalization is an arrangement whereby seats are placed close
together to absorb the energy of a child’s body thrown against it.
Additional padding, higher seat backs, frame construction, and
anchoring requirements make compartmentalization the accepted choice of
and the industry standard.
Transportation Services does utilize
lap belts and other restraint systems in certain circumstances. Special
Education buses currently provide lap belts for all students. Pre-school students utilize a child-restraint system especially designed for younger children weighing less than 40 pounds.
11) I have a complaint about a bus driver. Who do I talk to about this?
Please call the transportation office AT 874-8240 between the hours of
6:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. daily. Please ask for the Director of
Transportation or the Assistant Director of Transportation.
12) My child is a Special Education student. Who do I contact to arrange transportation?
call the learning strategist at your child’s school. They will contact
the transportation office to arrange for special needs transportation.
My child attends one school for most of the day but occasionally
receives services at another school. Is transportation provided for
Answer: Yes, transportation is provided anytime a student needs access to an alternative program within the district.
14) My child attends PATHS. Is transportation provided to and from PATHS.
Answer: Yes, transportation is provided from both Deering H.S. and Portland H.S.
DHS to PATHS 7:20
Return to DHS 10:15 (M-T-F)
Return to DHS 10:05 (W-TH)
PHS to PATHS 7:45
Return to PHS 10:15 (M-T-TH-F)
Return to PHS 10:10 (W)
DHS to PATHS 10:35 (M-T-F)
DHS to PATHS 10:50 (W-TH)
Return to DHS 1:35
PHS to PATHS 10:47
Return to PHS 1:35
15) Do you need a special license to drive a school bus?
Yes, all drivers are required to maintain in good standing a commercial
drivers license (CDL) with a Y (school bus) endorsement.
16) Do students practice emergency evacuations from the school bus?
Yes, by law it is required on a semi-annual basis that all students be
instructed in the proper way to evacuate a school bus in an emergency
situation. Drills are performed on each route in the early fall and
late spring of each school year. Drivers are trained in the proper use
of emergency exits and procedures.