Transportation Services

It is the mission of the San Diego Unified School District Transportation Services Department to provide safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation services with students as our focus.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who should I call if the bus does not arrive on time?
After ten (10) minutes you should call the school (find your school) or Transportation at (858) 496-8460 and press 1 to speak to an Information Clerk.

2. What information should I have ready when I call?
You should know your child's route letter/number as well as the school, child's name and stop location.

3. What are the hours of operation at Transportation?
The dispatch area is staffed from 5 am until 8 pm on school days. Scheduling, administration, safety and training are available from 8 am until 4 pm.

4. Will my child have the same driver every day?
Your child may have different drivers for the AM, mid-day, and PM routes. This is necessary since most drivers provide service for at least two trips during every shift. In addition, the variety of school programs and calendars has a severe impact on driver assignments. Similarly, some of the students receiving transportation services are highly mobile and frequently change addresses and levels of service. When these factors are combined with the limited vehicles, drivers, and a variety of contractual constraints, a single student route change can "domino" to impact several routes and drivers. Please be assured that every effort is made, while accounting for these factors, to keep driver changes to a minimum.

5. Can the driver stop at my house to pick up or drop off my child?
Only certain students, whose needs are addressed through an IEP or 504 plan, are eligible for "curbside" service (see info for additional information). This service is typically restricted to situations where a less restrictive environment is not possible or where medical issues require this type of service. For other students, service is provided in accordance with distance guidelines that assures a maximum travel to the stop of 4/10 mile for elementary students and 1 mile for secondary students. Please note, these guidelines only apply to eligible students. Students riding on a space available basis may only use an existing stop (see walking distance for additional information). Within these guidelines, every effort is made to improve route efficiency by clustering students to stops and, where possible, providing service on major streets.

6. Can I require that my child only be released to me at the bus stop?
Only certain designated students, whose needs are addressed through an IEP or 504 plan, are eligible for "must be met" service (see info for additional information). For all other students the parent/guardian is responsible for meeting the bus if they deem it appropriate. The parent/guardian should contact the student's school to ensure the names of babysitters, siblings or others who will meet the student are documented at the school.

7. To whom should I report my address or telephone number change?
The school should be contacted as soon as possible with address or telephone number change information. Once they have properly recorded this change into the district's database it will take approximately three weeks to implement transportation service changes if appropriate.

8. Why is the bus late and why wasn't I called?
Some of the situations that could cause lateness include traffic, road closures, weather, vehicle breakdowns or a late prior route. Since we operate close to 600 buses, it is virtually impossible to contact parents when the bus is slightly late. However, we are in radio contact with all of our buses and when we determine the bus will be 30 or more minutes late, we attempt to contact the parent/guardian.

9. How will I be notified of a change to my child's stop time (or stop location)?
The Transportation Department prints a TS (transported student) form every time a student's stop assignment or time changes. These are distributed to the school sites for distribution to the students. You should receive this information in the same manner you receive other information from your school site.

10. I got home late (in PM) and I cannot find my child. The school is closed (no answer). What do I do?
A call to Transportation is usually the best option in these circumstances. "Must be met" students are usually returned to school if they are not met. If the school is closed and it is after 3:30 p.m., the child is taken to Lindbergh/Schweitzer Elementary (see bus delivery for additional information). If the student is not a "must be met" student transportation staff can assist others in locating your child. This may involve contacting school police and/or home contact of school personnel.

11. I have a question regarding a bus stop location or pick up/drop time. Who should I call?
Please contact your school first (find your school). Each site has a transportation liaison responsible for coordinating service with the Transportation Department. These liaisons are trained to answer most bus service questions. If the liaison does not know the answer to your question they probably know who to contact and can probably get back to you with an answer. On rare occasions the site liaison cannot help you. In that case, please contact the Transportation Department.

12. If my child uses a wheelchair what do I need to know?
Wheelchairs are transported on San Diego Unified school buses in a forward facing position. If it is possible for your child to transfer to a bus seat, we will do so at your request. If transported in a chair, the chair must have working brakes and functioning footrests, the seat and back of the chair must be properly attached to the chair, the harness and/or trunk support system must be attached and the lap-belt must be "auto" quality and not Velcro. In addition, lap trays, if used by the student, must be removed and stored during transportation. The driver will be responsible for this as well as all other securement issues. Finally, we remind our drivers that even if the child is independent, the driver or attendant should still be the one wheeling the chair onto the lift. We ask that power chairs be put in the manual position when possible.

13. If my child uses a carseat what do I need to know?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued guidelines regarding the safe transportation of this age population in a school bus. Based on its research, NHTSA has determined that these children are safest on a school bus when transported in a child restraint safety system or car seat device. The car seats used must be certified and not have been involved in a crash or subject of a recall. To ensure that the seats meet all these criterion, the district, when possible, will provide the seat for the child. If the parent is using their own seat, district personnel will ensure that the seat meets all the necessary certifications. The transportation provider is responsible for ensuring the seat is secured properly in the school bus. If you have any questions regarding your child's car seat, please contact our offices.

To report a problem or concern regarding your transportation pick-up or drop-off service, please call 858-496-8460. You will need to know the name of your child's school and bus route (a letter).

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