Transportation Resources for Schools

Public, non-public and preschool personnel and administration can use this page to access applications, forms and Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) policy and procedure information.

For Public, Charter and Non-Public Schools

When to Contact your Transportation Liaison

Your transportation liaison is your source of support for busing, MetroCard, student eligibility, field trips, and other transportation topics.

Transportation professional development is also available for school staff responsible for transportation.

Contact your Transportation Liaison for:

  • Application access and training
  • Reporting late arrival of a bus to school
  • Reporting an overloaded bus
  • Help with field trips
  • Student eligibility checks
  • Help with checking MetroCard inventory
  • Help with entering bus stop or MetroCard information
  • Issues with the driver or attendant
  • Help with session times
  • Help with bus safety drills

Contact Information for Transportation Liaisons (TLs)

Find more Borough/Citywide office contacts.

When to Contact a Bus Company

Contact a bus company for:

  • A bus has not arrived at school before session start or end time
  • Your school needs to know the exact location of the bus
  • To get an estimated pick-up or drop-off time for a specific student

You can view the routes and bus vendors assigned to your school in the School Route Search.

When to Contact the Office of Pupil Transportation

Call OPT's customer service center at 718-392-8855 for any of the following:

  • A bus has not arrived at school before the school day has started/ended
  • On-going delays for bus arrival or pickup
  • A student is riding too long
  • A bus equipment malfunction
  • A bus capacity/overcrowding issue
  • A student is placed on a wrong bus
  • To request a change to a route
  • To report a student was injured or hurt themself on the bus 
  • To report an accident 
  • To report an issue with a driver, attendant, bus company, parent, and/or student

Follow the DOE’s protocol for when a child goes missing.

For emergencies, always contact 911.

NYCSA Account Creation Support

If you are a staff member in a non-public school in New York City, there may be students in your school who receive busing services from New York City Public Schools (NYCPS). Caregivers of those students can track their bus rides in real time through the NYC School Bus Caregiver app

Parents/Guardians use their New York City Public Schools Account (NYCSA) credentials to sign in and use the NYC School Bus Caregiver app. Correct information about a student's parent/guardian must appear in the Non-Public Student Information System (NPSIS) so that the parent/guardian is eligible to create a NYCSA account. In some cases, information about a student’s parent/guardian may be either missing or incorrect in NPSIS and must be corrected in order for them to create a NYCSA account and access the NYC School Bus Caregiver app

Provide Access to NYCSA and NYC School Bus Caregiver App

Here are the steps you can take to ensure that parents/guardians have access to NYCSA and for parents who have children with transportation services provided by NYCPS, the NYC School Bus Caregiver App. 

Nonpublic Schools that use the NPSIS application should follow the instructions outlined below to ensure that eligible parents/guardians can create their NYCSA profile for the NYC School Bus Caregiver App. 

  1. Confirm if the parent/guardian has access to NYCSA for the child enrolled in your school. If they do not: 

    1. Confirm the identity of the adult and that they are the parent/guardian of the student.
    2. Confirm that the parent/guardian information is correct in NPSIS. 
    3. If corrections or additions are needed, the system will confirm the parent/guardian is eligible for a NYCSA account and assign a NYCSA Account Creation Code (ACC). The ACC will appear in the NPSIS Parent/Guardian Download report within 24 to 48 hours of any changes to parent/guardian information.
    4. If the NYCSA ACC appears in the report, share the ACC with the eligible parent/guardian. The ACC is called a "Security Code '' in the NPSIS Parent/Guardian Report and is unique to the parent/guardian and student.
    5. If the ACC code is missing from the NPSIS Parent/Guardian Download report, please contact ONPSData@schools.nyc.gov with your school’s NPSIS School Code and the list of students with the error.

    More information about how to change or add parent/guardian information in NPSIS is detailed in the following section. Please encrypt any student information shared with parents/guardians by email. Follow the guidance outlined in Appendix C any time an email body or attachment includes student PII. 

  2. Parents/guardians set up their NYCSA account. 

    1. They will need the Account Creation Code (ACC) and their child's student ID number. Parent/guardian can find their child"s student ID number in two places:
      1. Transportation registration information.
      2. On a student’s IEP.
    2. If the parent/guardian does not have either of these resources, you (the school staff member) can help.
      1. Nonpublic schools that require support and use of the NPSIS app for student enrollment may contact ONPSData@schools.nyc.gov
      2. Schools requiring NYCSA support and not using NPSIS may email nycschoolsaccount@schools.nyc.gov. 
  3. Parents/guardians will access the NYC School Bus Caregiver App using the same credentials (username and password) they use to log in to NYCSA.

How to Add or Change Parent/Guardian Information in NYCSA

  1. Sign in to the NPSIS application:

    1. Go to https://apps.schools.nyc/NPSIS

  1. Sign in with your DOE external user account email address (@doeexternal.nyc) and password. The site will direct you to the application homepage if you have access.  

    1. If you have forgotten your password, use the Password and Profile Management link to complete a self-reset. If you don’t know your username, contact ONPSData@schools.nyc.gov.

  1. Assign a Parent/Guardian 

    1. Download and review the "School Roster" to determine whether the parent/guardian information and ACC exist. 
    2. If the information does not exist, use “Add Student” to add the student to your school’s roster. 
    3. You can add parent/guardian information to a student's NPSIS profile when the student is added to your school's roster by using "Add Student." For adding or updating a parent/guardian go to Add/Student Update.
      1. Go to "School Roster"
      2. Select student, student"s record will be hyperlinked
      3. Click the student record to go to "Add/Update Student"
      4. There you can update student information, as well as set transportation pre information and make additions to parent/guardian information
      5. Within 48 hours a security code/ACC will be created for eligible adults, for more information contact ONPSData@schools.nyc.gov 
  2.  Update an Existing Parent/Guardian 

    1. Download the "School Roster" to determine whether parent/guardian information and ACC exists. 
    2. If the parent/guardian exists, follow the link to check and update the information. 
    3. If the parent/guardian is missing or is inaccurate: 
      1. Go to "School Roster"
      2. Select “Student” and the student’s record will be hyperlinked
      3. Click the student record to go to “Add/Update Student”
      4. There you can update student information, set transportation information and make additions to parent/guardian information
      5. Within 48 hours, a security code/ACC will be created for eligible adults; for more information, contact ONPSData@schools.nyc.gov

For questions on the DOE Caregiver application, please get in touch with your school's Transportation Liaison. For questions about using NPSIS or the Parent/Guardian Roster screen, please get in touch with ONPSData@schools.nyc.gov.

School Session Times (for Public Schools)

  • Each spring, the principal determines the school’s schedule for the coming year (in alignment with contractual obligations and NYSED minimum instructional time requirements). Changes to the schedule that deviate from the traditional contractual requirements require a vote via the School-Based Option (SBO) process. See the Session Time Memo for more information.
  • The school’s schedule is submitted to OPT via the Session Time Application. Prior to routing, it is reviewed and approved by the DOE and UFT. 
  • Students are bused according to each school’s established session times. Busing is not provided for afterschool and extracurricular programs.
  • Once a school’s overarching session times and contractual work day schedules are established in the Session Time Application, students must be programmed for all instructional time in the STARS suite of applications. For more information, see the Elementary, Middle, or High School Academic Policy Guides.
  • Schools may choose to extend their school day beyond the required hours with the help of community-based organizations/non-profits and special grant opportunities; however, schools must deliver their mandated instruction and services, including for English language learners and the IEP-recommended program and related services for students with disabilities, during the regular, mandated school day.
  • Any requests to change a session time made during the school year will be reviewed in the order that they are received; however requests that affect bus routing may not be able to be accommodated.

Updates to the Specialized Transportation Record Entry (STRE) Screen in ATS (for Public Schools)

Review important updates to the “medical alert code” field in the “Specialized Transportation Record Entry (STRE)” screen in ATS. A full list of medical alert codes and descriptions can be found on the ATS Wiki.

  • A new “multi-select” feature allows users to select up to five different medical alert codes in STRE. For example, if a student’s 504 Plan or their IEP recommends limited travel time, climate control/air conditioning, and a paraprofessional—users should select A for “limited travel time” in the first field; T for “climate control/air conditioning” in the second field; and C for “needs two seats” in the third field, in the STRE screen in ATS. 
  • If a student has more than five transportation accommodation recommendations, please indicate M for “miscellaneous,” and email BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov, to request that the student’s record be updated to reflect the full list of transportation accommodations. 
  • Additionally, there are three new medical alert codes on the menu: harness; route with fewer students; and diabetes. 

Reference the ATS Wiki for additional information on STRE.

For Preschool Busing

When to Contact your Program’s Office

The following Early Childhood program offices provide preschool programs with transportation information and support:

Contact your program’s Committee on Preschool Special Education office or Early Intervention regional office when:

  • Your site needs to know if an adult has been approved to accompany a child
  • A child is not showing in the Pre-K/EI Rider System

When to Contact a Bus Company

Contact a bus company for:

  • The bus is overloaded
  • A copy of route ridership is needed
  • A child's bus route information; including bus company name or phone number, pick-up/drop off location, sequence, start date, etc.
  • To get the specific location of a bus
  • To get an estimated pick-up or drop-off time for a specific student
  • A bus has not arrived at school before session start or end time

You can view the routes and bus vendors assigned to your school in the School Route Search.

When to Contact the Office of Pupil Transportation

Call OPT's customer service center at 718-392-8855 for any of the following:

  • Application access and training
  • Bus is arriving late to school
  • Bus has not arrived for pick-up after the school day has started
  • Child left at school
  • Issue with a driver, attendant, bus company, parent and/or student 
  • A child is riding beyond the recommended guidelines
  • A child was injured on the bus
  • A child was placed on the wrong bus
  • Report an accident or student hurt themself

For emergencies, always contact 911.

Requesting Services

School responsibilities when receiving transportation services from NYC-DOE Office of Pupil Transportation

Below you will find a summary of the duties that must be discharged by school personnel to ensure timely, safe, and efficient transportation. As the principal of the school, we are asking that you review the material that follows and certify that you understand and are prepared to undertake these responsibilities.

I am the principal of a school and, in requesting OPT-provided bus service:

  • I understand that our bus routes may be shared with students who attend other schools and that these students may be of different ages or genders.
  • I understand that Stop to School (GE) buses do not have attendants on board in addition to the bus driver.
  • I understand that the management of discipline on the bus is the school’s responsibility.
  • I understand that NYS law limits OPT-provided GE bus service to not more than 180 days and that these dates must be within the limits of the DOE calendar.
  • I understand that buses may arrive up to 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after our session time and that we must have school personnel available to meet buses and assist students on and off the bus at these times.
  • I understand that OPT will create our initial set of bus stops and routes, but that school personnel will have that responsibility thereafter.
  • I understand that school personnel will be expected to contact our OPT Transportation Liaison or OPT’s Customer Service Unit by telephone to report transportation-related issues.
  • I understand that session times submitted are subject to DOE approval.
  • And I also understand that, in lieu of OPT-provided service, by submitting additional information, I may request reimbursement for bus service managed directly by my school.

Regarding students receiving MetroCards, I also understand that:

  • School personnel are responsible for receiving and distributing MetroCards according to each pupil’s grade and distance eligibility and for recording the serial number of each MetroCard distributed to each student in a prescribed manner.
  • School personnel are responsible for reporting all lost, damaged or stolen MetroCards in a prescribed manner so that they can be properly deactivated.

And, regarding all students, I understand that:

  • School personnel are responsible for maintaining accurate transportation data for each student in a prescribed manner on a continuing basis.

And, lastly, given the implication of these requirements:

  • I will identify the school personnel who will be responsible for these tasks and will make them available to take part in transportation training workshops.

If you wish to continue with this request and accept the conditions outlined above, please complete and submit a Preliminary Request for Transportation Services. To receive transportation services for the start of school in September, completed applications must be received by June 1.

Schools with Academic Class Past 4PM

Schools with academic classes running past 4PM should read the After 4PM Information and Application Procedures. That document outlines the ways that a school can request to use a bus from a DOE vendor, or receive reimbursement for their own vendor.

Either way, a completed Transportation Request Form must be sent to OPT before July 1 for the upcoming school year.

If this service is approved by OPT, families of the students using after 4PM busing must submit the Parent Authorization Letter to your school prior to riding the bus.

Transportation Reimbursement for Students Eligible for Curb-to-School Transportation

The following groups of students may be eligible to receive reimbursement for transportation paid for by their family, foster care agency, or shelter staff in instances that DOE busing was not available.

Note: Transportation to related services as part of a student’s IEP is not reimbursed by OPT. Please contact your CSE for assistance. 

  • Students in temporary housing or foster care, grades K-6 or grades 7-8 with an IEP and busing could not be provided
  • Students in foster care, grades K-6 and grades 7-8 without an IEP recommending transportation and busing could not be provided
  • Curb-to-school students whose bus company experienced a substantial delay that resulted in a no-show, or otherwise refused to provide service to the child assigned to the route

Note that submission of a Transportation Reimbursement Form does not guarantee reimbursement. The DOE reviews each submission and makes the final determination on reimbursement.

Travel reimbursement could be denied for the following reasons:

  • Your child does not fall into one of the categories above. All stop-to-school reimbursement requests for students not in temporary housing or foster care will automatically be denied.
  • Your child was routed and the DOE cannot verify that the bus in question experienced a substantial delay based on GPS data
  • If the form is not completely filled out and/or does not include receipts 

Eligible families can fill out the Transportation Reimbursement Form.

Please note: Tips and student no show will not be reimbursed.

Training and Support

All schools should log into OPT Info Stop which contains training videos and documents. For additional support and training, schools can contact their transportation liaison or transportation support liaison.

Managing Student MetroCards

Schools give MetroCards to eligible students at the beginning of the fall, spring, and summer terms each school year. Schools must record the serial number of each MetroCard provided to each student, and deactivate and quickly replace lost, stolen, or non-working MetroCards. Failure to do this may result in a delay in receiving additional MetroCards. 

You may not give a MetroCard to any student using yellow bus transportation, and the MetroCard must match a student’s level of eligibility.

  • Full-fare cards are valid on MTA subways and buses (but not on express buses)
  • Full-fare cards are available for eligible students 

Review the Transportation Overview page on the DOE website for additional information or contact your borough transportation liaison.

Requesting Additional MetroCards

For schools that utilize ATS, requests for additional MetroCards should be emailed to publicschoolmetrocards@schools.nyc.gov

For schools that utilize NPSIS, requests for additional MetroCards should be emailed to non-publicschoolmetrocards@schools.nyc.gov.

  • OPT will only honor requests if the Inventory Report in ATS or NPSIS reflects the need for additional MetroCards. Contact your transportation liaison with questions.
  • The email must include your OPT Code, the types of cards, and the number of cards that are being requested.

Types of MetroCards Available for Students

TypeDescriptionGrade Level Used byAdditional Information
E1K – 6 full fareK - 6Three-trip/three-transfer – valid between 5:30AM-8:30PM
E3K – 6 four-tripK - 6Four-trip/four-transfer – valid between 5:30AM-8:30PM

Line underneath “Student Transportation” identifies card as four-trip
H1GE full fare7-12Three-trip/three-transfer – valid between 5:30AM-8:30PM
H37 - 12 four-trip7 - 12Three-trip/three-transfer – valid between 5:30AM-8:30PM

Line underneath “Student Transportation” identifies card as four-trip
P1K – 6 GOS
full fare
K - 6“Good on Sunday”

Three-trip/three-transfer – valid between 5:30AM-10:30PM
P3K – 6 GOS four-tripK - 6“Good on Sunday”

Four-trip/four-transfer – valid between 5:30AM-10:30PM

Line underneath “Student Transportation” identifies card as four-trip
S17 - 12 GOS
full fare
7 - 12“Good on Sunday”

“High school” grade General Education three-trip/three-transfer

Also used for Night School
S37 – 12 GOS four-trip7 - 12“Good on Sunday”

“High school” grade General Education four-trip/four-transfer

Line underneath “Student Transportation” identifies card as four-trip

Also used for Night HS/YABC

X1
Special Program ExceptionK - 12

Two-trip/two-transfer

Valid Until 11PM

Requested by application
MUMonthly
Unlimited
AdultsRequests are sent to the public folders
POPurchased 2-tripAdultsPurchased by schools through FAMIS – OPT ships
WUWeekly
Unlimited
AdultsRequests are sent to the public folders
VYContingencyK - 12
Adults
Monthly unlimited MetroCard used during a work stoppage
CTCertificate for Free TransportationK – 12Paper certificate permitting groups of students and accompanying adults free transportation on MTA subways only. One certificate can be used round trip.

No more than 40 children and 4 adults, and not less than 5 children and 1 adult.

Not valid on weekends or holidays

Four-Trip MetroCards

Each student MetroCard provides three trips each school day, with one transfer per trip. Three trip cards allow a student to travel from home to school, from school to an after school activity, and then from that activity back home.

If a student tells you their trip to school requires more than three trips you will need to make the request in ATS or NPSIS then email publicschoolmetrocards@schools.nyc.gov or non-publicschoolmetrocards@schools.nyc.gov with the student's name, I.D. number, and a copy of the MTA Trip Planner that displays the student's transportation options to school.

Special Program MetroCards

Special Program Student MetroCards are two-trip cards that are valid until 11PM for students whose school-approved program ends after yellow bus service is available, or if their program is during the school day or on a Saturday (ex. Saturday academies, after school programs, internships, or work study programs).

You can request Special Program MetroCards by filling out the Special Program Application for Student MetroCards.

Schools must track each student who receives a card on a distribution log.

Summer School MetroCards

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) provides MetroCards for student use during the summer for public and nonpublic schools, as well as for DOE-approved programs such as internships that are not necessarily based in a school building. The procedures that must be followed to request these MetroCards differ depending on the school or program type and are explained below. 

Summer MetroCard requests for Public and Charter Schools.

Public and charter schools must submit their request through ATS and ensure students are registered with a class and program code in SSPR beginning April 18th. All students in public and charter schools must be registered in SSPR by May 13th to ensure delivery of MetroCards by the first day of summer school. 

Reminder - Only students who received busing or MetroCards in the spring are eligible to receive a MetroCard for summer programs. 

Please contact your school’s Transportation Liaison with questions or for assistance with the required ATS procedures. 

Summer MetroCard requests for Nonpublic Schools.

Nonpublic schools are required to submit their summer school MetroCard request utilizing the Nonpublic Summer School and Fall Reconciliation Application not later than May 13th. 

Reminder – The total quantity of cards requested should include students attending your program for the summer who are not on your 10-month roster. 

Please contact your school’s Transportation Liaison with questions or for assistance with the required reconciliation procedure.

Summer MetroCard requests for DOE-Approved Programs not based in a school building.

DOE approved programs such as internships or CBO-provided enrichment activities providing in-person services can request MetroCards for all eligible students attending the program. The MetroCard Request Form for DOE-approved Summer Programs must be submitted by June 10 in order to ensure MetroCards for the first day of your summer program. 

Please contact the Transportation Liaison for the DOE school district where your program is located with questions or for assistance with the required application.

Certificate for Free Transportation

In addition to providing student MetroCards, OPT provides schools with Certificates of Free Transportation which are valid on the NYC Transit System (subways) and Staten Island Railway only and will not be accepted on buses. These can be used for field trips by groups of up to 40 students when accompanied by one adult for each group of 10 students. The Certificates distributed by OPT are available for use Monday through Friday only, from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Please use this form to request Certificates for Free Transportation.

The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development also provides transportation through a Complimentary Subway Transportation Program to schools and non-profit organizations that provide services to youth ages 5 through 18. The Certificates provided by DYCD are valid Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and 7:00 to 11:30 PM as well as on weekends from 9:00 AM to 11:30 PM. For additional information on DYCD services, call 800-246-4646 or email DYCD at transportation@dycd.nyc.gov.

Purchased MetroCards

Principals may purchase two-trip MetroCards for a variety of uses, including transportation for parent/teacher conferences and school events, by placing a purchase order through FAMIS. You must indicate on the purchase order if you would like to pick up the cards at OPT or have them delivered by courier.

You can also exchange expired two-trip MetroCards for new ones if you submit them to OPT within 18 months of the expiration date. Any cards expired for more than 18 months cannot be exchanged and OPT recommends turning in expired cards immediately after expiration, to account for processing time.

You can either mail the expired MetroCards with a copy of the original purchase order or the original receipt to OPT at the address below, or you can arrange for an appointment to exchange them in person by emailing publicschoolmetrocards@schools.nyc.gov.

Attention: MetroCards
44-36 Vernon Boulevard, 6th Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101

Once OPT receives the expired cards, new ones will be sent via courier, or can be picked up at the OPT offices.

Schools that purchase large numbers of MetroCards should consider making smaller purchases to limit the number of exchanges necessary.

STH & SFC Parent/Guardian MetroCards

Parents/guardians of students in temporary housing or foster care 3K- grade 12 who do not receive busing or are in the process of being routed can receive a MetroCard from their child's school to accompany their child to and from school.

Please submit an Application for Parent / STH MetroCards - 2023-2024 School Year to request these MetroCards. 

  • School OPT code and DBN
  • Number of STH parent/guardian MetroCards

Note: Schools must ensure that the housing status in ATS-BIO is updated to reflect housing status.

Field Trips

Field trip rules and procedures can be found in Chancellor's Regulation A-670.

Beginning on September 18, schools will be able to book yellow school busing for field trips during the school day. The first date to schedule a field trip is September 26.

Schools can still charter coach buses for field trips. More information is available below. 

Students in grades K-12 (school age) can get yellow bus service for field trips. Schools requesting field trips for school age students mandated for car seats, must provide the car seat for the trip. 

Schools requesting field trips for Pre-K students under the age of 5 or weighing 50 pounds or less at the time of the trip require car seats and must charter the trip through a Pre-K vendor

To request, cancel, edit, or view transportation services, school personnel must log in to the Online Field Trip System. Follow these steps when booking school bus transportation: 

  • Booking is subject to availability; OPT will attempt to accommodate as many trips as possible 
  • Trips must be within the five boroughs of New York City 
  • Trips must leave the school after 9:30 AM and return to the school by 1:30 PM 
  • Requests must be submitted at least one week before the trip date 
  • Trips cannot service multiple destinations 
  • Trips cannot be scheduled on dates when the NYC public schools are closed (generally all federal holidays) or on dates when the public schools have half-day sessions 

Important Dates 

  • September 26 is the first day when field trips may commence
  • The last day when field trips may commence is June 14 

Dates Upon When Field Trips Cannot Take Place

  • September 25
  • October 9
  • November 7, 23-24
  • December 25-30
  • January 1, 15
  • February 19-23
  • March 29
  • April 1, 10, 22-30
  • May 27
  • June 17, 19

Charter a Contracted Coach Bus

When field trips do not fall within the yellow busing field trip parameters outlined above, or when yellow school buses are not available for trips that do fall within those parameters, schools may procure coach busing service.

To procure coach busing services, use the FAMIS portal (requires log in) to issue a purchase order (PO) to a contracted coach bus company for round-trip transportation of students and adults on school trips lasting no more than six days and five nights, within the five boroughs, intrastate, and out-of-state.

Eligible coach bus vendors are based on borough and trip details. To identify the appropriate vendor, reference ­­­­Coach Bus Rates and issue a purchase order through the FAMIS portal (requires log in) using object code 669 and the corresponding item number and contract number.

The available coach bus companies are:

Academy Express, LLC
111 Paterson Avenue
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(201) 420-7000, Ext. 2236
lcagnetta@academybus.com
Contact: Francis Tedesco

Accord Bus, LLC
575 Scholes Street
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(212) 973-8282
sales@accordbus.com
Contact: Sofia Fayer

J and R Tours LTD
41 Torre Place
Yonkers, NY 10703
(914) 668-5050
info@jrbuses.com
Contact: Ralph J. DiDonato

S and J Tour and Bus, Inc.
185 Canal Street, #402
New York, NY 10013
(718) 921-4246
sjtourbus@gmail.com
Contact: Mona Jiang

Suburban Trails
750 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, NY 08901
(732) 249-1100, Ext. 231
zarko.zecevic@coachusa.com
Contact: Zarko Zecevic

Charter a Non-Contracted Coach Bus

If none of the contracted charter bus vendors are available on the date of your scheduled trip, then schools may go through the 3 competitive bids or MWBE process in FAMIS. As a reminder, all non-contracted thresholds must be followed as outlined in the OTPS Standard Operating Procedure Manual (SOPM).

View the Non-Contracted Charter Bus Guidance Document.

Prior to the Trip

The School: 
  1. Verify the company has a satisfactory rating posted on the US Department of Transportation - Safety Measurement System.
  2. Obtain the documentation listed below and upload to FAMIS for the Division of School Leadership Finance Team review and approval.
The School requests from the Vendor:
  1. A copy of the driver’s 19A certification certified by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle.
  2. A copy of NYSDMV Abstract of Driving Record indicating the driver’s 19A status is Active-School-Qualified.
  3. A copy of the ACORD 25 Certificate of Liability Insurance with the DOE listed as the certificate holder. The liability limits for commercial general liability insurance and automobile liability insurance shall be not less than:
    1. For commercial general liability insurance, a combined single limit coverage of not less than One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence. General aggregate and Products-COMP/OP AGG. 
    2. For automobile liability insurance, a combined single limit per occurrence of not less than Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000)
  4. A copy of the Worker's Compensation Insurance and Employer's Liability Insurance in the amounts prescribed by law.

Upon receipt of the above documentation uploaded to FAMIS, the DSL Finance Team will review the purchase order.

On the Day of the Trip

The school official (Principal or trip Designee that is also a Public Schools Employee at the school) in charge should verify that:

  • The driver of the vehicle has the appropriate license and a company-issued identification card.
  • The vehicle has a valid registration and Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker.
  • The capacity of the bus, as indicated by the numbers located by the entry door, is sufficient to transport the number of people who are taking the trip.

After the Day of the Trip

  • School certifies the purchase order (PO) in FAMIS for services rendered before or on June 30, 2023.
  • School submits supporting documentation to accounts payable to initiate payment to the vendor.

Schools may contact their Transportation Liaisons for assistance.

Certificates for Free Transportation

Groups of students accompanied by teachers may use free group subway transportation certificates while traveling to and from educational field trip sites during designated days and times.

Certificates are valid for round-trip travel on subways only, not buses. The certificates may be used:

  • Monday through Friday (they are not valid on Saturday, Sunday or holidays).
  • Between the hours of 9:30 AM and 3:00 PM only
  • Year round (including summer)
  • At any subway station of the NYC Transit System and Staten Island Rapid Transit
  • For a maximum of 40 students and four adults
  • For a minimum of five students and one adult

Please use this form to request Certificates for Free Transportation.

Schools can choose to combine yellow bus service and certificates on a trip. For example, a school may use yellow bus service to travel to their destination if they are leaving after 9:30 AM and use certificates of transportation for return travel by subway if they will return later than 1:30 PM.

Free subway passes for use at other times of the day and on weekends and holidays are available from the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development.

Volunteer Attendants

On General Education School Buses 

The following procedures are required for the Office of Pupil Transportation to authorize an individual to serve as a volunteer attendant on general education school buses contracted by the New York City Department of Education.

The New York State Education Department regulations require that any adult who rides a school bus be:

  • Fingerprinted (the fingerprint requirement may be waived for current DOE employees who have already been fingerprinted at either 44-36 Vernon Boulevard or 65 Court Street)
  • Have a recent medical examination form on file
  • Have an annual tuberculosis (TB) test on file
  • Take and pass the same training classes as our permanent school bus attendants
  • Take and pass an annual follow-up training

Any parent/guardian wishing to be a volunteer attendant will not be permitted to ride on the same route to which his/her child is assigned.

Schools are responsible for the identification and initial screening of candidates. If the candidate is not already well known to the school, this process must involve interviews and reference checks. All candidates must be at least 21 years of age. No candidate may serve on a vehicle prior to having obtained fingerprint clearance. Schools must submit this Volunteer Monitor form to Marilyn Mateo at MMateo4@schools.nyc.gov.

If a school requests an attendant for a bus route that services multiple schools, the principal of the requesting school must receive written consent from the principal of each of the other schools serviced by that route. The requesting school must receive a letter from each other school 1) on school letterhead 2) signed by the principal or assistant principal 3) include schools’ ATS Code, OPT code route number 4) and stating the principal is aware of and consents to the assignment of an adult attendant to supervise its students while they are being transported. This letter must be submitted to the Office of Pupil Transportation at the time of the request.

Once an individual has been cleared to serve as an attendant, the Office of Pupil Transportation will provide written notification to the school and the vendor providing service on that route. The notification will include the stops at which the attendant will be boarding and disembarking the bus. Only the attendant whose name is provided to the vendor is authorized to ride on that route. No other adults will be permitted to board the bus except in case of emergency.

Short-Term Exceptions

The Office of Pupil Transportation makes the following exceptions for a volunteer attendant to ride the school bus on a short-term basis:

  1. Emergencies during the current school year for no more than ten school days 
  2. Summer school shuttles

In order to request a short-term volunteer attendant, please submit a Volunteer Monitor form to Marilyn Mateo at MMateo4@schools.nyc.gov with the following information:

  • The person’s name with fingerprint information on file. If fingerprint information isn’t provided, they cannot ride the bus under any circumstances.
  • The vendor/bus company name
  • The route they will be riding and whether morning and afternoon or both
  • The stop where they will board (applies to current school year exceptions only)
  • The stop where they will get off (applies to current school year exceptions only)

Safety Drills

All public, non-public, and charter schools, including preschool sites, are required to conduct at least three School Bus Safety Drills per school year. Bus safety drill dates for the 2023-24 school year are:

  1. Between September 7 and September 15 (during the first seven days of school); entered into the OSYD portal by October 6
  2. Between November 1 and December 22; entered into the OSYD portal by December 22
  3. Between March 1 and April 26; entered into the OSYD portal by April 26

Once the drills are completed: 

  • Public Schools should report completed school bus safety drills on the OSYD Portal (Access Required)
    • Schools should visit the Office of School and Youth Development for more information
  • All public, non-public and charter schools must complete the Certification of Performance and retain the form at their school

How to Conduct a School Bus Safety Drill

School staff should adhere to the following guidelines when conducting school bus safety drills. The instructions provided during each drill can prepare all school children to act quickly and safely in the event of an emergency even if they are not regular school bus riders. These directions are adapted for NYC from the School Bus Safety Drills Check Sheets published by the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute for the NYSED. Keep in mind; every child is required to participate in the drills, whether or not they receive school bus transportation regularly.

School leaders may satisfy school bus safety drill requirements in one of two ways:

  1. On a yellow bus vehicle requested by the school administrator from a contracted bus company.
    • Schools must work directly with a bus company to obtain a vehicle for the school bus safety drill and a driver to partner in the instruction of the drill
    • Each class should be allotted thirty minutes to practice on the bus, and drills should be co-led by a bus driver and school staff member
    • Introduce the drill and explain why you are conducting the drill
    • Stress the importance of following driver directions in an emergency
    • Review the DOE’s safety tips for riding on a bus with students 
  2. In a classroom setting

Steps to Follow During a School Bus Safety Drill

  1. Review Procedures in the Event of a School Bus Emergency
    • Explain the concept of emergency: “a dangerous situation requiring immediate action”
    • Review situations that would create an emergency
      • Fire
      • Threat of explosion
      • Accident
      • Bus in an unsafe position
    • Emphasize specific hazards encountered by student riders during snowy, icy, and other inclement weather conditions; slippery road conditions; and poor visibility
    • Identify emergency equipment and exits
      • Have students point out the location of all emergency equipment (extinguisher, first aid kit, reflectors, etc.)
      • Have students point out and open all exits and passenger door
      • Explain the danger of playing with emergency exits
    • Demonstrate how to stop, secure, and shut off the bus
    • Explain why students should know the bus number and route
    • Demonstrate how to use the bus radio
  2. Review Emergency Evacuation Procedures
    • Show students how to evacuate the bus safely. Practice at least one type of evacuation per each required drill.
    • Practice Evacuation: Front Door
      • Shut off and secure the bus, and activate red flashers during the evacuation practice
      • Insist on an orderly practice evacuation. Student helpers should get off first and wait on both sides of the front passenger door to keep students moving and prevent students from falling down the stairs.
      • Students should leave book-bags and all other personal items on the bus.
      • Point out a safe area for students to gather outside the bus
      • Ask students to “buddy up.” Younger students should hold hands as they move away from the bus.
    • Practice Evacuation: Rear Door
      • Shut off and secure the bus, and activate red flashers during the evacuation practice
      • To prevent injuries, insist on an orderly, “seat-by-seat” practice evacuation.
      • Student helpers should serve as outside “spotters” during the evacuation practice, outside the rear door. Helpers should get off first.
      • Require all students to “sit and slide” from the emergency door; never let students jump out the door or engage in horseplay during the practice
      • Students should leave book bags and all other personal items on the bus
      • Point out a safe area for students to gather outside the bus
      • Ask students to “buddy up.” Younger students should hold hands as they move away from the bus.
    • Practice Evacuation: Split Evacuation
      • Shut off and secure the bus, and activate red flashers during the evacuation practice
      • Students in the front half of the bus go out the front door, and students in the back half go out the rear door (make sure students know where they are to evacuate before the evacuation starts)
      • Insist on an orderly, seat-by-seat, practice evacuation
      • Student helpers should go out the rear door before other students, and should “spot” for other students exiting the rear door
      • Remind students to leave book bags and all other personal items on the bus
      • Point out a safe area for students to gather outside the bus
      • Ask students to “buddy up.” Younger students should hold hands as they move away from the bus.
  3. Safe Loading and Unloading Demonstration
    • After the evacuation, practice is over, gather the students in front of the bus and demonstrate safe crossing.
    • Let students point out Danger Zones
    • Review your operation’s “Safe to Cross” and “Danger - Go Back!” signals
    • Remind students never to try retrieving something they’ve dropped near the bus, and never to run after a missed bus
    • Explain the dangers of drawstrings or other dangling clothing
  4. Conclude the Drill
    • If the students paid attention and did a good job, remember to thank them! Thank any teachers or school officials who assisted or observed. Distribute the “Letter to Parents” for students to take home.

Reporting Completion of a School Bus Drill

For classroom instruction, “practice” can be done through role modeling, demonstration or video, depending on availability. A school bus company or in some cases an OPT representative may be able to assist in classroom instruction if scheduled in advance.

End-of-Year Procedures

Determining Eligibility Changes for ATS Users

Specific groups of students will change eligibility as they advance in grade. Schools should communicate these changes in advance whenever possible.

  1. Students advancing from grade 2 to grade 3: B distance with no active IEP
    • Change: No longer eligible for yellow bus (students may request a MetroCard in the fall)
    • There is no change in eligibility for the following students currently in grade 2:
      • Students with distance code C or D
      • Students with an active IEP that does not mandate transportation
  2. Students advancing from grade 6 to grade 7: C distance with no active IEP
    • Change: No longer eligible for yellow bus (students may request a MetroCard in the fall)
    • There is no change in eligibility for the following students currently in grade 6
    • Students with an active IEP that does not mandate transportation

Schools can use data on the TLST screen to identify the specific students in order to inform families.

  1. Sort TLST data by grade
  2. Scan each page and note students who will be affected by this change
  3. Use Transportation Eligibility Change (Letter to Parent or Guardian) or your school’s existing memo to inform families

Restoration of Grade 7 and 8 Busing

School bus service is generally not available to students in New York City above the sixth grade.

Prior to the 2010-2011 school year, however, busing was provided to grade 7 and 8 students at fifty-four schools, mostly in Staten Island and a few schools in Queens and Brooklyn, due to a variance known as V0708.

Recent "wind back the clock" legislation returns busing to the schools that used this service in school year 2009-10 as it relates to the Office of Pupil Transportation variance V0708.

If your school did not have busing due to this variance in school year 2009-10, you are not eligible for the restoration of grade 7 and 8 busing.

For more information and a list of schools, see Restoration of Grade 7 and 8 Busing.

School Closures

Weather Event

Non-Public Schools

Non-public and charter schools should follow the guidelines below for handling weather-related emergencies as well as other emergencies that may impact transportation. Schools with DOE school bus transportation must have an emergency closure plan on file with OPT. In that plan, schools must detail their parent notification procedure for closures and delays.

When DOE schools close due to inclement weather, bus transportation will not be provided to any school (including non-public schools).

If DOE schools remain open and you decide to close your school due to inclement weather, follow one of these steps:

  • Notify OPT of your school closure using email: weatheremergencyOPT@schools.nyc.gov
    • Include your name, contact information, and OPT school code(s)
  • Email must be sent at least 12 business hours in advance
    • This email address is not monitored on weekends, federal holidays, and other NYCDOE days off
  • When we receive your message, OPT will notify bus vendors to suspend service for the next day
  • The request is not approved until you receive written confirmation from OPT

To request for delayed opening or early dismissal, follow one of these steps:

  • Notify OPT of your request using email: weatheremergencyOPT@schools.nyc.gov
    • Include your name, contact information, and OPT school code(s)
  • Requests for a delayed opening or early closing must be submitted no later than 3PM the business day before a weather event (weekends, federal holidays, and DOE days off not included)
    • Same day requests for a delayed opening or early closing cannot be accommodated
  • The request is not fully approved until you receive written confirmation from OPT

In the event that you decide to close your school on the day of a weather event, you must contact your bus vendor and inform parents before 5:30 AM.

After contacting the vendor and parents, follow one of these steps:

  • Notify OPT of your school closure using email: weatheremergencyOPT@schools.nyc.gov
  • Include your name, contact information, and OPT school code(s) and confirm that the vendor and parents have been notified

Other Emergency School Closures

If your school must be closed due to a building safety or mechanical issue:

  • Notify OPT of your plans to close school by calling OPT Customer Service as soon as possible: 718-392-8855
    • An agent will ask you to provide your name, contact information and OPT school code(s)
  • Notify your Borough/City-wide Office

Transportation Systems / Applications

  • Transportation Single Sign On (SSO) provides access to the applications used for transportation operations for public, charter and non-public schools. Within SSO you can access the following applications:
    • Student Ridership Information
    • Add, Remove, and Change bus stops (OPT 199)
    • School Bus Violations
    • Field Trip Application
    • Session Time Application
    • Non-Public School Calendar
    • Non-Public School Information System (NPSIS)
    • Non-Public Summer and Fall Reconciliation
    • Pre-K / EI Site and Rider System
    • Pre-K / EI Calendar
    • Summer Pre-K Rider System

    For help with usernames or passwords, email your Transportation Liaison.

  • Student Profile - Search for student school and bus information.

Reference

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