Frequently Asked Transportation Questions
Q: What’s the difference between bus numbers and route numbers?
A: The bus number is the number of the vehicle itself, whereas the route number is the black sign with white numbers (3-digits) on the side by the door. We use route numbers because the actual bus that transports may change (in for service, or inspection, etc.), but the route number won’t. If you call with a question, it helps if you know your child’s route number, not the bus number.
Q: How are the routes organized?
A: This year, most elementary students will have the same route number for their morning and afternoon routes (for students going to and from the same address). Scheduling differences between the morning and afternoon make this unlikely for the Junior High/High School, and Non-public school routes.
Q: My child goes to Boght Hills, but I need them picked up and dropped off at my mother’s house in the Loudonville area. Why was my request for transportation denied?
A: State Ed law requires the district to provide transportation to/from authorized daycare centers within district boundaries to/from all its elementary schools (if the requests are received before April 1 in the year preceding the current school year). However, transportation requests to a babysitter or other provider outside the school’s local attendance zone can only be approved if it fits with existing routes.
Q: I can’t see my child at the bus stop from my house. Why can’t the stop be at my house?
A: It is impossible for us to route according to sight lines from houses. Buses make central neighborhood stops.
Q: I don’t feel comfortable sending my child to the house down the street. Why can’t the stop be at my house?
A: A bus stop is a series of maneuvers designed with safety as the utmost concern. The driver follows set procedures in executing the stop – stopping, observing, opening the door, boarding or releasing passengers, observing, crossing, closing the door, and so on. It is safer for these stops to be spread out so the driver can complete all these actions. Statistically, more school bus accidents occur during the loading and unloading process than in regular driving. More bus stops also increase the length of the bus ride.
Q: My child has to cross two streets to get to the bus stop. What are you doing to insure my child gets to and from the stop safely
A: It is the parent’s responsibility to get the child to and from the bus stop. It is the District’s responsibility to give the child a safe place to be picked up and dropped off. How children get to stops is not the District’s responsibility (per State Ed decisions on appeals from parents).
Q: I still don’t feel comfortable. What recourse do I have to get the stop changed?
A: The first step is to call our office with your concerns. If we do not agree, we will ask that you put your concerns in writing to us. In the meantime, a “Bus Stop Review” will be conducted by the Transportation Department. Upon receipt of your written request, we will respond in writing, as well as call with the results of the decision. If you do not agree with our decision, you may appeal it to the Assistant Superintendent for Business at 518-785-8591.
Q: I received my letter with the bus stop info, but where exactly is the stop? Which way will the bus come?
A: Most bus stops are the same year after year, especially for our public school routes. If you need to know exactly where the stop is, feel free to call our office at 518-785-9486.
Q: The stop is up the street, on the opposite side. Does my child have to cross the street?
A: It is your choice to either let your student be on the correct side when the bus comes, or wait until the bus arrives, and then cross on the drivers signal, with the bus’ lights activated. We prefer the latter, as the bus can control traffic.
Q: In regards to crossing, are there students who don’t cross?
A: All students are expected to know how to cross in front of the bus if needed, depending on the bus stop location. We do not cross students on main highways or very busy roads.
Q: I have been told that my elementary age child must transfer buses. How is that done, and is it safe?
A: All transfers are done at schools, and are supervised by the bus drivers and/or school staff. No elementary students are left on their own to find their transfer bus.
Riding the Bus
Q: Can a friend come home with my child on the bus?
A: Yes, if there’s room, and also with a note stamped in the school office (elementary only). Junior High and High School students may ride any bus and get off at any authorized stop without a note (provided there is room on the bus). Behavior problems will affect this privilege, however. Non-Public School Students: We cannot transport students from another district on our buses — no exceptions.
Q: My daughter plays the cello. The driver is giving her a hard time about getting it on the bus. What do I do?
A: Each child is entitled to one seat on the bus. Any items carried on board must fit on the child’s lap, or between their legs on the floor. If your child needs to bring something to/from school that is too large, parents should make other arrangements for transportation.
Q: Are there certain items not allowed on the buses?
A: Any item not allowed in school is not allowed on the bus. Bus drivers may also restrict items coming aboard if they feel safety is an issue (baseball bats, hockey sticks, etc.). No animals, skateboards, or scooters are allowed on the bus. If in doubt, call us to ask.
Q: My child’s bus ride seems very long, and I’m only 5 minutes from school. What can be done about that?
A: Our public school routes average 20-45 minutes long, depending on the school and pick up area. We are transporting an average of 65 students per bus, sometimes making 25 stops. Everybody is close, and someone always has to be first.
The Bus Driver
Q: My child tells me that the older kids in the back of the bus are using bad language, and the bus driver does nothing about it. Why doesn’t the driver do something?
A: It is extremely likely that the driver can’t hear what is going on. A bus is a noisy environment under the best circumstances. It is very hard for the driver to hear what is happening past the first few rows of seats. Most of the time, drivers will only become aware of this behavior when the students tell them.
Q: Another student hit my child, and my child retaliated and hit back. The driver only saw my child, and made him come up front. Is that fair?
A: The driver is charged with transporting students safely. The driver must deal with other motorists as well as picking up or dropping off students. Every time a driver must look to the overhead mirror at the students, their eyes are off the road. Therefore drivers must make snap judgments to keep the peace on a bus. It can also be said that the driver won’t see the first hit, but will see the retaliation, and must act on it. The end result is to get the students home safely and expeditiously. The driver should not get involved in lengthy discussions about who did what. If there is a concern to be addressed, it should be settled in the principal’s office at school.
Q: A two-hour delay has just been announced. When will the bus come?
A: Two hours later than the regular pick up time. (No kidding, we get this question every time). In fairness, however, two-hour delays usually present their own problems. The bus is supposed to pick up two hours later, but delays are usually called because of bad weather, which means more traffic. And since a delay may put us in the middle of business traffic, we may be later than the supposed two hours.
Q: How do I know if there’s a delay?
A: All delays will be announced on the district website or emailed directly to you via SchoolMessenger. Delays and closings are listed on local radio and TV stations. The decision is usually made no later than 6 a.m.