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Frequently Asked Questions
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Student Bus Transportation FAQ

Student Bus Transportation FAQ


Updated July 15, 2022

  1. What has MPS done to address the driver shortage impact?
    • Transportation has expanded its Type III vehicle service to provide transportation to more students. Type III vehicles are small vans, cars or taxis that don’t require a CDL license. Without these Type III vehicles, more students and families would be impacted by the driver shortage.
    • Transportation has worked to fill buses to their capacity so we can best utilize our drivers. This has meant asking families to actively request transportation for their students prior to the upcoming school year. Transportation will continuously monitor bus capacity throughout the school year and remove students who have not ridden the school bus for more than 10 days in a row. 
    • A travel reimbursement is offered to families who choose to transport their own students. More information about the 2022-23 school year reimbursement form will be shared in August.
    • MPS has offered a $3,000 hiring bonus for the School Bus Drivers in Training and School Bus Drivers positions. The Driver in Training position teaches people who are new to the industry how to drive a school bus and helps them obtain their CDL to become a fully licensed bus driver.
    • MPS has provided a $3,000 retention bonus for our current bus drivers and offered a $500 referral bonus for each referred candidate who is hired as a Bus Driver or Driver in Training.
  2. What can families do to help?

    • Let us know if your student will not be riding the bus. We understand that some families may choose to transport their students to school instead of riding the bus l. If so, let your student’s school transportation coordinator know so we are serving only the students who need the bus. If your student needs to ride the bus again, simply request transportation with your school and your student will be added back to the bus stop.

    • Talk with your student about what to do in case their bus does not arrive when expected. Families should develop a plan for their children if they wait unattended at the bus stop. Parents should advise their children as to how long they should wait for the bus and what to do if the bus does not come in that time frame.

    • Check the contact information on file with your student’s school. This includes making sure phone numbers are not blocking robocalls from MPS and opting in to receiving text messages. This will ensure your family is notified in a timely manner when your student’s bus transportation is impacted.

    • Use Here Comes The Bus to track your student’s school bus. Families are able to see where their child’s bus is on a map using the app. Here Comes The Bus will send a notification when the bus is nearing the bus stop.

  3. How long should my child wait before we know a bus is not coming? 

    • Students should arrive at their scheduled stop at least 5 minutes prior to their scheduled time and wait at their bus stop, if it is safe to do so, for up to 15 minutes past the scheduled pick up time. 

    • Families are strongly encouraged to use the Here Comes The Bus app, which tracks their child’s bus and sends a notification when the bus is nearing the bus stop.

  4. If the bus is more than 15 minutes late, what should we do?

    • Check Here Comes The Bus to see where your student’s school bus is on a map. Families should tell their student how long they should wait for the bus and what to do if the bus does not come in that time frame. Students should be waiting at their assigned bus stop 5 minutes prior to their scheduled pick up time and should wait at their bus stop for up to 15 minutes past the scheduled pick up time, if it is safe to do so.

  5. Will families be notified if the bus is late or not coming?

    • MPS Transportation does its best to be aware of issues in advance; however, there may be times in the morning when there is a last-minute driver shortage causing a route to be inadvertently missed or run late if a substitute driver is not available or couldn’t be assigned on time.

    • As soon as MPS Transportation is aware that a bus is not coming, they will notify families by robocall and email. If families have opted to receive text messages, they will also receive a text message in addition to the robocall.

    • For buses that are running late, families should refer to the Here Comes The Bus app. Families are able to see where their child’s bus is on a map using the app. Here Comes The Bus will send a notification when the bus is nearing the bus stop. Families will also receive notifications on Here Comes The Bus if another bus has been substituted for the day.

    • We strongly recommend that someone has access to the family cell phone when students are waiting for the bus.

  6. Will Here Comes the Bus notify families when buses are not coming?

    • Here Comes The Bus will allow families to see where their school bus is on a map and receive a notification when the bus is nearing the bus stop. However, Here Comes The Bus does not track Type III vehicles (typically white vans, minivans or cars) or taxi cabs that some students may take to school. Families using these vehicles will be notified by MPS Transportation once Transportation receives late-vehicle information from the service provider.  

  7. How will MPS make sure that one area of the city is not impacted more than another area?

    • ​Because MPS cannot control which routes are not covered at the last moment, we will not be able to plan ahead on which areas of the city may be more affected than others. However, all routes will have the option of a second-chance bus if needed so that students are transported to school, although this will happen later in the morning once a bus is available.

  8. Will this impact Special Education students whose transportation is required by law?

    • MPS is required by law to provide transportation for all students who are eligible, not only Special Education. Sometimes we have to make difficult decisions on which routes to delay based on safety of where children are waiting for a bus. Should instructional time be impacted for any student, schools will work closely with Special Education to ensure instructional minutes are met.

  9. When MPS does not have a driver to cover a route, are students just not supposed to go to school that day?

    • All students are expected to attend school every day unless they have an excused absence. If a student was not able to be picked up in the morning, another bus can be sent back out once it has finished its previous route. Families will be notified that a second-round bus will be sent with enough time for students to return to the bus stop before the bus arrives. If a student misses both buses, families should call their school to discuss next steps.

  10. Can I receive a reimbursement for bringing my student to and from school every day?

    • Yes. Transportation will continue to offer a reimbursement to families who are able to transport their own students. An updated online form will be ready soon for fall 2022. Continue to check the Transportation website for updates.