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Information about Your School Bus Service

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students:

This Web Page will acquaint you with the rules governing school transportation. Your cooperation will help us maintain timely, reliable, and safe bus service.

We are pleased to be able to provide this important service. Your comments and suggestions will help the district provide better transportation service. Contact the Transportation Services Department (858-496-8475) or your school principal if you have any suggestions or comments.

Alexandra Robinson
Director, Transportation Services Department

Transportation Section: (858) 496-8460/8480
Enrollment Options (619) 725-5672
Special Education Program Office (619) 725-7600







Bus service usually will not be provided unless eight or more eligible students live in an area that can be served by a bus. Routes may be discontinued during the school year if the number of passengers decreases below this level.

Transportation is provided for eligible students who attend an integration program outside of their neighborhood school boundaries. To be eligible, students must reside in the VEEP allied pattern for the school they wish to attend. Secondary and atypical school students may be expected to travel up to one (1) mile from their homes or service addresses to the designated bus stop. Elementary students (including kindergartners) may be expected to travel up to four-tenths (0.4) of a mile (approximately 6 blocks) to the bus stop. Parents/guardians are responsible for instructing their children about directions from their homes or service addresses to the bus stop. For complete rules please refer to District Procedure 5411.


Transportation is provided for eligible students who attend an integration program outside of their neighborhood school boundaries as follows:

1. Secondary Magnet Programs:

a. Mission Bay, Kearny, San Diego, Roosevelt
Transport district students (to and from their neighborhood school) whose travel distance is greater than 2.5 miles and who reside outside the school’s attendance boundaries.

b. Point Loma
Point Loma is phasing out magnet transportation. Transport only students enrolled at the school on or before the 2002-2003 school year whose travel distance is greater than 2.5 miles and who reside outside the school’s attendance boundaries. Transportation is also provided to students who have been grandfathered in based on previous eligibility at Silver Gate, Sunset View, and Fremont.

2. Atypical Schools:

a. Muir

1) Grades K-8
Transport all district students (to and from their neighborhood school) whose travel distance is greater than 2.0 miles to the school.

2) Grades 9-12
Transport all district students (to and from their neighborhood school) whose travel distance is greater than 2.5 miles to the school.

b. Creative, Performing, and Media Arts (CPMA) (Grades 6-8), San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) (Grades 6-12)
Transport all district students (to and from their neighborhood school) whose travel distance is greater than 2.5 miles to the school.

3. Elementary Magnet Programs:

a. Benchley/Weinberger, Grant, Green, Chollas/Mead, Fulton, Freese, Green, Johnson, Knox, Lindbergh/Schweitzer, Oak Park, Spreckels, Valencia Park, Webster, and Zamorano
Transport all district students (to and from their neighborhood school) whose travel distance is greater than two (2.0) miles to the school and who reside outside the school’s junior high/middle school attendance boundaries to the school they attend.

b. Longfellow and Language Academy
Transport all district students (to and from their neighborhood school) whose travel distance is greater than two (2.0) miles to the school.

NOTE: There are no walking distance limitations for either secondary or elementary school students, including kindergartners. Magnet students in these programs are expected to walk the same distance to their neighborhood schools as their non-magnet peers. Parents/guardians are responsible for instructing their children about directions from their homes or service addresses to the bus stop.

Students will be assigned to a specific route and stop. Students may board and leave their bus only at the assigned stop and may be assigned to a specific seat on the bus.

Routes are identified by the name of the school and the letters A to Z. Buses display only the assigned route letters. Elementary students will be given tags listing the student's name, school name, bus route letter and pertinent bus stop information. These tags should be worn during the first month of school. Notify the school immediately if the tag is lost or damaged. It is suggested that students also memorize their school name and route letter.

Your student may be instructed to obtain a bus pass at the school of attendance within the first three (3) days of the new school year. Passes must be shown to the bus driver daily on secondary school VEEP and ROP routes. Some magnet schools also use passes for their routes. If a pass is lost, call your school. For a fee of $1 the school will replace lost passes, with additional replacements costing $5 each. The school will replace a damaged bus pass free.

The school principal may cancel or suspend a student's pass. This revokes the student's eligibility to ride a bus during that time. Retention or cancellation of a bus pass does not change a student's school attendance requirements.

Students are expected to be at the designated bus stop ten (10) minutes prior to the arrival of the bus in the morning. Buses will not leave a stop before the designated pick-up time. Students should wait ten (10) minutes past the designated time before returning home to inquire about a late bus {when there is more than one student at the stop, the student who lives closest should go home). The pick-up and delivery times of each bus should be consistent within approximately ten (10) minutes, although buses may be later if rain, fog or traffic occurs.

Parents/guardians should be prepared for changes in buses, routes, stops, and times of pick-up throughout the school year that result from adding or dropping students in the program. Overall travel time will vary from route to route depending on school and student home locations. The district attempts to ensure that each student rides the bus no longer than one (1) hour in each direction between home and school. There are some students, however, who are regularly scheduled to ride more than one hour due to program/class location.

If a bus is delayed, the driver notifies the Transportation Services Department via a communications radio in the bus. Parents/guardians may call the Transportation Services Department to determine the reason for the delay and the approximate length of the delay. Transportation Services Department notifies schools of buses that are more than 10 minutes late. The transportation staff will attempt to telephone residences if delays exceed 30 minutes.

Students tardy to school will be excused if their delay is the result of bus service problems or circumstances beyond the control of the student. Students will not be excused when arriving late if they have created discipline problems on the bus or were late arriving at the bus stop. The school determines whether or not the student is excused.

All students who must cross the street after leaving a school bus must use a crosswalk with traffic signal or cross under the protection of red signal lights of the bus. Students in elementary, middle, and junior high schools will be escorted by the driver while crossing the street if a traffic signal is not available. Please instruct your children NOT TO CROSS the street diagonally or behind the bus.

The red signal light and escort services are not usually provided on morning trips to school. Students should arrive at the bus stop ten (10) minutes before the designated pick-up time.

Parents/guardians picking up and/or dropping off students at the bus stop should park safely away from the stop, but on the same side of the street as the bus stop to avoid the possibility of a student being hit by traffic while crossing the street.

Students are not allowed to bring pets-including those in cages and on leashes-on board a school bus. The only animals that may be transported are guide dogs, service animals, and signal dogs as specified in Civil Ed Code 39839, Code Section 54.2 for students with disabilities.

Students are not permitted to bring on the bus any articles that the driver or monitor considers to be dangerous or that may cause injury. Plastic bags should not be used to carry personal belongings. Lunches must be packed in appropriate containers. Due to securement and safety concerns, strollers, skateboards, and razor-scooters are not allowed on the school bus. Messages or instructions to the school principal or teacher should be attached to a younger child's clothing with tape.

Parents/guardians or students can telephone the school or Transportation Services Department about lost items. Neither the bus driver nor the school, however, will be responsible for personal belongings left on the bus. Lost items are not retained or safeguarded by the bus companies or the school district.

All students may use these devices on campus and school buses before school begins and after school ends. However, for safety reasons, during the bus ride, cell phones may be used only with the driver's permission. These devices should be turned off and kept out of sight- preferably in a backpack, book bag, or purse. Due to privacy concerns, students may not take pictures of other students or employees without written consent.

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School bus transportation is rated by the National Safety Council as the safest form of passenger transportation. Our bus drivers are specially trained to give students the best service and protection available.

Each school bus driver completes classroom and road instruction before receiving certification. The district requires all bus drivers to complete first-aid instruction, to attend regularly scheduled safety meetings and to attend additional training sessions to maintain the skills needed to safely transport students.

All school buses are inspected daily by the bus drivers and periodically by the California Highway Patrol to ensure that the buses meet safety standards. In addition, district mechanics perform comprehensive inspections at frequent intervals. The federal government, the state of California and many traffic safety organizations DO NOT recommend use of seat belts for bus passengers; therefore, most school buses are not equipped with seat belts.

If your child is a passenger on a bus involved in a non-injury accident, you will be notified by a note from the driver. Any student injured in an accident will be treated at the district's expense after consent has been given by the parents/guardians.



Each student riding a bus is expected to obey these student conduct rules:

  • Enter and leave the bus in an orderly manner in single file. No physical playing or rough conduct is allowed at any time.

  • When boarding the bus, show the driver your bus pass (if school uses passes).

  • Remain properly seated at all times and keep head and other parts of the body inside the bus and out of the aisle.

  • Avoid loud conversation and singing.

  • Do not play musical instruments inside the bus.

  • Ask the driver's permission before opening windows and only put the windows down half way.

  • Follow any additional directions given by the bus driver or monitor.

  • Eating, drinking, chewing gum, and smoking are not allowed on the bus.

  • Respect the rights of others inside and outside the bus.

Many bus stops are designated at corners in residential areas. Students should be respectful of others' property. The bus stop is NOT a playground. Students should not play, push, shove, or throw objects while waiting for the bus. Drivers are supposed to stop ten(10) feet from the students. Please leave room for the bus to stop away from your child.

When a student's behavior is unacceptable or rules have been disobeyed, the driver will file a written report with the school site administrator. The administrator will investigate the incident and take appropriate action.

When a student's misconduct is of a nature that does not jeopardize the safety or welfare of other students or interfere with the operation of the bus, counseling may be appropriate. Suspension is considered when a student's behavior could jeopardize other passengers or the safe operation of the bus, when repeated counseling fails to correct behavior, or when a student damages a bus. Parents/guardians will be notified of disciplinary action taken by the school administrator. Some school buses may be equipped with video cameras to ensure safety and deter misbehavior.

Bus drivers are allowed to determine if the radio will be turned on or not. Drivers may also use the radio as a reward for good behavior. The volume will be at a level that allows the riders to hear the radio comfortably without distracting the school bus driver.

School bus drivers are responsible for the AM/FM radio. The school bus driver is advised to use "common sense" concerning what is listened to on the radio. They may switch the station or turn the radio off if the program content, commercials, and/or the lyrics of the songs played contain sexually explicit material, foul language, references to drugs or violence, or the content is controversial and not appropriate for the students on the bus. Additionally, they may not tune to stations that have a religious format or play exclusively religious music.

Students may, while on the bus, listen to their personal radios or CD players with headsets, if the school allows those items at school.

Transportation has honored requests from a few schools not to play the radio on particular routes.


Parent/guardians are required to reimburse the school district for any vandalism to a school bus committed by the student. Parents/guardians will be notified by the school if their student has been involved in behavior leading to damage of a school bus.

If a student does not ride the bus for an extended period of time, you must call the school of attendance or the Transportation Services Department on the school day before the student returns to school to ensure pick-up at the bus stop.

If your child moves or has a change in their service address during the school year, notify the school of attendance at least 15 school days in advance to ensure continuous transportation service. A change in telephone number should also be recorded with the school.

Drivers will not change established bus stops or routes without authorization from the Transportation Services Department. Bus stops and changes to routes are not added for temporary needs. Students may use existing bus stops other than their assigned stop on any route as an alternate or temporary stop when approved by the school.

Alternate bus stops or changes in routes used by the student on a part-time, long-term basis may be added if approved by the school. Changes must be requested at least 15 school days before the change is to be effective by contacting the school or the Transportation Services Department. To determine existing stops, contact the school transportation liaison.


Many parents/guardians want their younger children delivered to a child-care facility instead of to their home neighborhood. Students may be scheduled to ride to a different bus stop if:

  • A transportation application with parent/guardian signature is submitted to and approved by the school site;

  • The service occurs on a consistent basis (daily or every Monday, for example);

  • Service can be accommodated on an existing route.

The special service whereby parents/guardians could request that a student be met by a designated adult is no longer offered in the Integration Programs. Because it is impossible to deliver students at exactly the same time each day, students may arrive early at their bus stops in the afternoon. So that parents/guardians will know when to meet their children, Transportation Services has instituted an "early drop" policy: Students may not be dropped more than 10 minutes before the time listed on the manifest.

Students who are ill should not be sent to school. The parent/guardian will be asked to take the student home if the student becomes ill at school. Students who have had a communicable disease will not be eligible for transportation until the Department of Health or a medical doctor certifies in writing that the disease is no longer contagious.

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A student's IEP will reflect that the related service of transportation is necessary and a student's individual needs will be addressed in the least restrictive environment. Generally, however, the following guidelines will be followed.

Infants and students designated as "medically fragile" or "technology dependent" will be assigned a bus stop at the closest safe public curbside to their homes or service addresses.

Preschool children and all students requiring the use of a wheelchair will be assigned to bus stops within two-tenths (0.2) of a mile of their homes or service addresses. Students residing within two-tenths of a mile of their assigned schools will not be eligible for transportation service.

Elementary students (including kindergartners) not requiring the use of a wheelchair will be assigned to bus stops within four-tenths (0.4) of a mile of their homes or service addresses. Students attending the resident school or living within one (1) mile of the assigned school will not be provided transportation service.

Secondary students (including sixth graders attending middle schools) not requiring the use of a wheelchair will be assigned to bus stops within one (1) mile of their homes or service addresses. Secondary students attending the resident school or living within two (2) miles of the assigned school will not be provided transportation service.

Parents/guardians should provide the necessary supervision and assistance to ensure their child's safe and timely arrival at the designated stop. The need for this supervision, in and of itself, will not determine the location of the stop.

Pick-up or release of a student will not be made on private property without prior authorization or at a location determined by the driver to be unsafe.

Parents/guardians must provide a restraining belt attached to the wheelchair for securing the student in the chair. The belt should be of auto quality and not Velcro. Your child must be secured in the wheelchair when the bus arrives. Wheelchairs are firmly secured to the floor of the bus by the driver. The framing of the wheelchair must be sufficient to allow securement to the floor from four or more locations of the chair. Transportation of wheelchairs, which cannot be secured to the bus without modification of the chair or bus equipment, may be denied. All wheelchairs must be equipped with functioning and properly maintained brakes, appropriate trunk support and working footrests; powered wheelchairs must utilize spillproof batteries (California Code of Regulations 1293, Title 13). The district complies with current industry standards in transporting students in wheelchairs and therefore lap trays will be removed and stored for transport. Parent/Guardians should consult the wheelchair manufacturer's manual regarding the appropriateness of using the wheelchair to transport the student. Direct questions about the transportation of wheelchairs and other special equipment to the Transportation Services Department (858-496-8480).

A parent/guardian or other designated adult is expected to be at the bus stop to receive the student when delivered by the bus driver. The designated adult should be at the stop 10 minutes prior to the stop time. If the bus does not arrive within 15 minutes of the stop time, the Transportation Services Department or the school should be contacted. The IEP team will determine if a student must be released at the bus stop to a specified adult. If, on rare occasions of real emergency, the parent/guardian is unable to be at the stop to meet the bus, he or she should notify the school and the Transportation Services Department by phone that another designated adult will be at the bus stop when the bus arrives. The driver should not be asked to deliver the student to any other location. The designated adult must present identification to show that authority to receive the student has been given by the student's parent/guardian. The parent/guardian should contact the student's school to ensure the names of babysitters, siblings or others who will meet the student are documented at the school.

If no authorized person is at the stop, the driver will return the student to the school of attendance before 3:30 p.m. or to Lindbergh-Schweitzer Elementary, East Campus, 6991 Balboa Ave.(just west of 805 and Balboa),(858)496-8225, after 3:30 p.m. The parent/guardian must then pick up the student as soon as possible. The bus driver will not leave a note at the residence indicating the students whereabouts. A social service agency will be called if the child is not picked up by the parents/guardians or if contact with the parents/guardians cannot be made.

NOTE: Continual problems regarding the delivery of your child may result in suspension of transportation.

Please do not send a child who is even mildly ill to school; he or she may become acutely ill a few minutes or hours later. Notify the Transportation Services Department and the school when you do not intend to send your child to school. If a student does not ride for five consecutive school days, the bus driver may discontinue serving the stop until notified to resume transportation service. You must call the school of attendance or the Transportation Services Department (before 4 p.m.) on the school day before the student returns to have service reinstated.

For safety purposes, each student should carry or wear identification. This should include the student's name, address, home and emergency phone numbers along with the school of attendance. A preferred method is an ID bracelet worn on the student's wrist.

Students still in the process of being toilet trained should be toileted just before boarding the bus. The ride to school may take up to one hour and drivers are not permitted to stop.

A student who has a communicable disease will be denied transportation until the school receives certification from the Department of Health or a medical doctor that proper precautions have been instituted to prevent the disease from spreading to other bus riders.

Ideally, medication should be transported to school by parents/guardians, not students or bus drivers. If this is not possible, however, the medication must be given by the parent/guardian or the school official to the bus driver in a sealed envelope marked with student's name and school. Parents/guardians are encouraged to confer with school staff about this procedure.

Students or children of students under 40 pounds generally must be transported while secured in car seats meeting federal safety standards for child safety restraint systems. One-year-old children up to 20 pounds should be secured in a rear-facing position. The parent/guardian is responsible for providing the car seat and for securing the student in the car seat. The car seat used should be certified, clean and in working condition. The school bus driver is responsible to ensure the student, carseat, and safety restraint systems are secured properly. The driver may allow the parent to assist if needed. To ensure that the carseat meets all safety standards, in some instances, the district will provide the car seat for the child.

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Transportation Center: 4710 Cardin Street, San Diego, CA 92111 • Phone (858) 496-8460/8480 • Fax (858) 496-8700

Director: Alexandra Robinson, M.Ed., CDPT • Phone (858) 496-8710 • Fax (858) 496-8705

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