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Houston School Transportation Services

In the state of Texas, more than a million students rely on buses to get them to and from over 9,000 public schools every day.  Public schools in the Houston area provide free school transportation to students in order for them to have convenient access to education. The goal of all Houston school districts’ transportation departments is to ensure students access to education. Children are better prepared to learn when they arrive at school on time and safe. Drivers receive consistent annual training to remain fully qualified and informed on current rules, regulations, and safety protocols.

What are some benefits of public school transportation?

There are many advantages of  school bus transportation (Track School Bus Article).  Besides just transporting students to school safely and on-time, school busses are beneficial because: 

  • Busses mean fewer vehicles on the roads and less dangerous vehicle emissions in our environment.
  • Children learn time-management proficiency by arriving on time to the bus stop.
  • Students gain responsibility skills by having to keep up with their belongings. 
  • Children forge meaningful friendships on the bus.
  • School bus services increase students’ overall well-being which may lead to higher academic achievement and greater social self-confidence.  
  • The public school bus environment may increase equity in students, making their ride to school more peaceful.

Transportation Services and Eligibility

Transportation is offered to all students who live two or more miles from their assigned school or home campus.  Some students that live within two miles of their designated campus may have transportation provided if the district deems their neighborhood as dangerous. Transportation services are provided for students to and from their assigned bus stop, depending on their official residential address.  Students are expected to ride their designated bus and load/unload only at their specific stop.  

Public school districts do not offer transportation services to other locations like babysitter’s homes, business addresses, or afterschool activities.

School Bus Conduct

School buses are extensions of the classroom. Proper behavior and conduct are expected while waiting for, riding in, or departing from the bus. Bus drivers have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in order to maintain safe operations for all passengers.

Special Needs Transportation

The Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee ensures students receive fair and appropriate transportation services based on federal, state, and local guidelines.  District goals are to provide safe and economical bus services.  Special needs bus routes in Houston districts are designed to be less than a 60 minute drive.   Caregivers are responsible for meeting the bus before and after school to transfer custody of the student.  (NEISD Bus Information)

Magnet/ Choice School Transportation

Students in Houston – area magnet, academy, and/or choice schools that are not located within their home campus are allowed reliable transportation.  Some students ride their home campus bus to the magnet campus, and they are returned to the home campus.  Caregivers are responsible for getting the student to and from the home campus.

School Bus Driver Credentials

All Texas school bus drivers are required to follow TX DPS guidelines in order to be certified to transport students.  Texas bus drivers must:

  • Obtain a valid Texas CDL license.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Maintain a safe driving record.
  • Pass an annual physical examination by a TxDOT-certified physician. 
  • Complete the approved state certification course.
  • Attend the certification refresher course every 3 years.

Keeping Track of Your Bus and Weather

In Houston, inclement weather can happen at a moment’s notice. School bus drivers receive training to handle inclement weather like rain, snow, sleet, and slippery roads.  You can also stay ahead of any Houston weather updates with Accuweather- School Bus Weather Houston.  

Your district’s bus information can be found on your local school district’s website or you can contact them directly to inquire about your family’s specific transportation needs.  Your district might also use the Transfinder app tool to help you manage your child’s bus transportation. 

Public school districts place school transportation services high on their lists of priorities, as free school bus service is essential to students’ physical and mental safety.  Transportation to and from school is an invaluable service in a student’s route to educational success.

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