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What Families Should Know About School Busing

August 25, 2023
K-12, Special Education
A yellow school bus, front view. School bus is written and capital letter above the windshield.

Specialized busing is a special education-related service that goes on your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Procedures for the 2023-2024 School Year

  • Busing information and transportation services for students in public and charter schools can be viewed through your New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) on the NYC Public Schools (NYCPS) website the last week in August. NO LETTERS will be mailed out. (For information on creating a NYCSA Account). The information will include the name of the bus company, route number, pick-up and drop-off locations. Once that information is received, and after the bus company does a practice run, the time of pick-up will be created by the bus company. Families should then soon receive a call from the assigned bus company with an estimated pick-up time. 
  • Families of students attending non-public schools who do not have a NYCSA account can call 311 or the Transportation Coordinator at their child’s school to request assistance obtaining a code needed to create an account. 
  • Specialized transportation must be documented on a student’s Individual Education Program (IEP), including all necessary accommodations such as a minibus, climate control, a lift, ramp, or limited travel time (LTT). Requests for specialized transportation and accommodations are made at IEP meetings and must be approved by the Office of Student Health (OSH) prior to documenting them on a student’s IEP. As part of the process, parents will need to submit medical and HIPAA forms to OSH for their approval.
  • If your student needs to be dropped off from school at an alternate location that is different from their home address, parents must fill out an Alternate Drop-off form and submit it to OPT.  An alternate drop-off location is for other locations that are consistently used, and cannot be provided for a one-time drop-off. Alternate afternoon bus drop-off arrangements can be requested online here (scroll down page and click create ticket). For information on eligibility exceptions, including joint custody, temporary housing, and foster care, visit this page.
  • Every school has a designated staff member who serves as a Transportation Coordinator. Contact your student’s school to obtain their name and number to use as your first step when questions and/or when problems arise.

If you face any of these challenges:

  • Bus arrives late or early at your home
  • Documented IEP busing services are not being provided, e.g. no lift or ramp where needed, required paraprofessional is not present, or travel time exceeded.
  • Students on the bus have behavior issues

Here’s what you can do:

  • Contact the Transportation Coordinator at your child’s school every time the issue occurs.
  • File a complaint using the Online Complaint Form here or contact the Office of Pupil Transportation at (718) 392-8855.
  • Keep a record of the dates, times, complaint ID numbers, and any people you speak with at OPT.
  • Report every complaint on the day it happens to document and alert OPT that there is an ongoing problem.

For more information, please visit the NYCPS’s website page on transportation or call the INCLUDEnyc Help Line at (212) 677-4660.