Transportation Resources for Schools

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

Requesting Transportation Services

You can ask for transportation for your school — or request a change in service — by following the steps in the Requesting OPT Transportation Services guide.

Broadly, your school needs to plan for how they intend to handle the many transportation needs of its students. Then you must submit a Request for Service form, a Certificate of Occupancy, and a Curriculum Certificate.

Requesting after 4 PM Busing

Schools requesting general education bus service after 4 PM should read the After 4 PM Information and Application Procedures.

That document outlines the ways a school can use a bus from a DOE vendor, or receive reimbursement for their own, cheaper vendor. Either way, they must notify OPT by July 1 of the calendar year they want service.

Make sure to ask the parents of the students using after 4 PM busing to submit the parent authorization letter to your school.

Training & Support

You can contact your FSC transportation liaison for transportation support or training, or call (718) 392-8855.

Managing Student MetroCards

Schools give MetroCards to eligible students at the beginning of the fall and spring 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.

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 and special education cards are valid on MTA subways and buses (but not on express buses).
  • Half-fare cards, for students in grades K-12 who reside close enough to school to walk, are green.
  • Half-fare cards are valid only on MTA buses: The student is responsible to pay half the current fare and may only transfer to another bus.

Four-Trip MetroCards

Each student MetroCard provides three trips each school day, with one transfer per trip. Three trips allows 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 may email publicschoolmetrocards@schools.nyc.gov to request for a four-trip MetroCard – you will also need to send the student’s home address, school address, and/or program address along with the request.

Visit the MTA web site and use the MTA Trip Planner to identify transportation options.

Special Program MetroCards

Special Program MetroCards are two-trip cards for students whose program ends after yellow bus service is available, or if they leave school during the day to travel to other programs.

You can request Special Program MetroCards through the Program Exception Application. They are for students attending approved programs including Saturday academies, afternoon school, internship, or work study programs. Students get cards each day they attend their program. Schools must track each student who receives a card. You don’t need to assign these cards based on a student’s ATS record.

Purchased MetroCards

Principals may purchase gold two-trip MetroCards for a variety of uses — including transportation for parent/teacher conferences and school events — by placing a purchase order through FAMIS. 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 turn in expired gold two-trip MetroCards for new ones if you submit them to OPT within one year of the expiration date. Any cards expired for more than one year won’t be exchanged and OPT recommends turning expired cards in before 9 months after expiration, to account for processing time.

Mail the expired MetroCards with a copy of the original purchase order to OPT at this address:

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.

Email publicschoolmetrocards@schools.nyc.gov to arrange an appointment at OPT to exchange the expired cards in person. Appointments are only available in the afternoon and you must bring a copy of the original purchase order with you.

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

Field Trips

Students in kindergarten through grade 12 can get yellow bus service for field trips. 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 may log in to the online field trip system. Please follow these guidelines:

  • Trips must be within the five boroughs of New York City.
  • Trips must leave the school after 9:30 AM and buses must return to the school by 1:30 PM.
  • Requests must be received by OPT at least two weeks before the trip date.
  • Trips cannot service multiple destinations.

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.

To request certificates, schools can email certificatesfortransportation@schools.nyc.gov.

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.

Safety Drills

All public, non-public, and charter schools, including Pre-K and Early Intervention sites, are required to conduct at least three school bus safety drills per school year.
  • The first during the first week of the fall term (the first seven days).
  • The second between November 1 and December 31.
  • The third between March 1 and April 30.

Once the drills are completed:

Non-Public Schools Emergency Closures

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. Encourage families to check the OPT website for weather updates during the winter months.

When DOE schools close due to inclement weather, bus transportation will not be provided to any school.

If 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 before 5:30 AM in the morning
  • Notify OPT of your plans to close school by calling OPT Customer Service: (718) 392-8855. An agent will ask for your name, contact information and OPT school code(s).
  • You must contact OPT by 7 PM the evening before.

When we receive your message, OPT will notify bus vendors to suspend service for the next day.

To requests for delayed opening or early dismissal, 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).
  • Notify OPT of your plans to close school by calling OPT Customer Service: (718) 392-8855. An agent will ask for your name, contact information and OPT school code(s).
  • These requests must be approved by OPT.

OPT staff will contact you if your request can be accommodated.

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

School Information Systems

Below are links, descriptions and instructions to the OPT applications used in the management of several operations for Public, Charter and Non-Public Schools.

For username and password help, call (718) 392-8855 and ask for username / password help or email TransportSchedule@schools.nyc.gov. If you send an email, please provide your name, your contact information, your school’s name, and the school's ATS or OPT code. Please note that we can only email the username and password to the principal of the school.

Rider information

Applications and requests

Reference

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