Student Transportation Frequently Asked Questions for School Year 2012–2013

How do I request transportation for a student?

Transportation Policy

If the student is a regular education student, the parent must request transportation through the student’s assigned neighborhood school. Transportation services are not provided for choice schools. Transportation will determine eligibility for regular education students.

Does my child qualify for corner stop service?

Most regular education elementary pupils are within walking distance of their schools. School bus transportation will be provided to students (K-5) who live three-quarters of one (¾) mile or more from their neighborhood school. 

School bus service will be available for most middle school students (6-8) living one and one-half miles or more from their neighborhood schools. When school bus transportation is not available, bus cards will be furnished.

How long will it take for my child to receive transportation?

At peak times, under normal conditions, it may take up to 5 days from the time student transportation receives the request for your child to be placed on a transportation route. Following the first few weeks of school and depending on the specific equipment needs of a special education student, it more typically takes up to 3–5 days from the time Student Transportation receives the request. The parent is expected to be responsible for their child’s transportation during this period.

What is my child’s route number?

Route information is mailed to the student’s home approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the start of school.

Will there be an attendant on my child’s bus?

It depends on the special education student’s disability and the specific needs whether an attendant is assigned to the bus. A determination is made based on the student’s needs, information from Special Education, and information from the school bus driver.

How long should the bus wait after arriving at my home?

If the bus arrives at the regular stop time, it does not wait. If the bus arrives before the stop window, it is to wait until the stop window time is met. The school bus must use the overhead flashers when stopping to receive or discharge students. The overhead flashers are traffic controls requiring vehicles traveling on the roadway to stop. This impedes traffic, causing congestion so, for safety reasons; please have your child ready in advance of the stop time.

What time will the bus arrive every day?

During the school year, a 15 minute stop window will be provided for pick-up and drop-off times. Please allow 7.5 minutes before or 7.5 minutes after your estimated schedule time. As everyone knows, traffic congestion, road repairs, emergencies, etc., can delay a bus from its timely arrival. Parent understanding of these factors is essential. The driver’s first priority is student safety. The second priority is to be on time.

What may cause my child’s bus/cab to be late?

Traffic, inclement weather and delays at previous stops may cause the bus/cab to arrive late.

I was not home when my child’s bus came; will it come back?

Yes, Dispatch will be informed by Customer Service to have the driver bring the student back home. However, in the future be sure to be home at the regularly scheduled stop time.

Are there seatbelts on the school buses; if not, why not?

The school bus is the safest form of land transportation currently known. Seatbelts are not required on school buses because the buses are constructed to offer a higher level of safety for students without them. Additionally, federal studies verify that lap belts on school buses reduce the level of safety for students and actually increase injuries.

My child has not made it home yet. Where is my child?

If you call the Transportation Information Center, Central Dispatch will contact the driver to see how far the driver is from the home. Delays in routes due to traffic delays, etc. may be the cause of late arrivals.

Should the bus wait until the student enters the home or someone receives the student before the bus leaves?

Regular education students are dropped off at the appropriate corner stops. Student Transportation provides curb to curb transportation and it is the parent’s responsibility to both bring the student to and from the bus. In many cases we understand some students have been given keys to let himself or herself into the home, the bus is to remain until the student has safely entered into the home.

How can I be sure the school bus my child is riding is safe?

School buses are inspected on an annual basis by the Michigan State Police for safety. In addition, school buses serving Detroit Public Schools students are inspected by maintenance staff every 33-36 days. Parents can verify the State Police inspection by looking for a sticker on the windshield of the bus servicing your child. Detroit Public Schools and its transportation contractors have made dramatic improvements in vehicle maintenance and vehicle replacement in recent years resulting in a safer ride for your child.

Where is my child’s bus stop?

Most transportation eligible regular education students have corner stops. Special education students, depending on their disability, are generally picked up at their homes. Mailer notifications indicating bus stop pick-up times and route numbers generally are sent out 1-2 weeks prior to school start-up.

How do I qualify for a D-DOT bus card for public transportation?

Free and reduced D-DOT bus cards will be distributed 2 weeks after start-up of student’s high school. The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  1. Student must attend their neighborhood school.
  2. Student must receive meal benefits.
  3. Student must reside more than 1½ mile from the assigned school.

Reduced-fare passes may be available directly from the student’s neighborhood high school.

What can I use to ride the D-DOT bus in the beginning of the school year until bus cards are issued?

Students with a bus card from last school year will be allowed to board D-DOT buses for the first 2 weeks of school until the new passes are issued at the free or reduced rate indicated on the card.

Students with high school identification cards can ride the D-DOT for $0.75 cent each way until the new cards are issued within the first two weeks of school.

All Students will be allowed to ride the D-DOT bus with no pass or student id for the first day of school only for the reduced fare price of $0.75 cent each way.

Detroit Public Schools students who do not have a high school identification card or a bus card from last year will be issued a reduced fare card on the 1st day of school.

EXAMPLE: 8th graders attending a new high school or others who may not have student identification but qualify for a free or reduced fare pass under the Districts Transportation policy. The pass will allow students to ride for $0.75 cent each way until new passes are issued on the 2nd week of school.

My student lost his/her D-DOT bus card. How does the student obtain a replacement bus card?

Notify the school of the need for a replacement card. The school forwards a request to Transportation who sends the school the replacement card. If another card needs to be replaced per students it must be purchased from DDOT at $136.50 per semester.

My child is a special education student in a wheelchair; how will he/she be secured on the bus?

Detroit Public Schools and its contracted transportation service providers utilize only a forward facing wheelchair secure system using four straps secured to the vehicle floor. This system has been proven to be the safest configuration for wheelchairs.

My child will be absent/ who do I notify?

If you are not aware of an absence in advance, please contact the Transportation Information Center at 945-8600 and the dispatcher will contact the driver, instructing them not to pick up the student.

My child transferred to a new school; how do I arrange transportation?

Make sure your student has been properly registered at the new school. If the registration (transfer) has not been done, please contact the school to assure that the student has been properly registered. If this has been done and the student is a regular education student, the task is complete. If the student is a special education student, please contact the appropriate placement center.

I live on a dead-end street and the driver will not come down my street; what can I do?

This will be turned over to Quality Assurance for review. A supervisor from the Office Student Transportation will contact you within 24 hours to review possible solutions and/or provide a final disposition.

How do I get answers to school transportation questions?

Contact the Transportation Information Center at 313-945-8600 a Customer service agent will either answer your inquiry or direct your call to an individual who can best assist you.

I’m moving what must I do to ensure continued transportation?

Parent of Regular Education students should contact the school to update information. Parents of special education student must contact the appropriate placement service.


South Wing/Room #168

2001 W Warren
Detroit, MI 48208

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