• Phone :
    • (207) 874-8100
    • Address :
    • 353 Cumberland AvePortland, Maine 04101
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Transportation FAQ

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Transportation Services

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What should I do if the bus doesn’t show up?
Answer: Pick up and drop off times will not vary to any great extent on a normal basis. Circumstances beyond our control could make the bus late occasionally. Vehicle “break downs”, detours, emergencies, or weather related problems are a few reasons that could make the bus late. We will always make sure a bus will be at your stop. If the wait is longer than fifteen minutes please contact the transportation office at 874-8240.

2) My child is not eligible for transportation. Can my child still ride the school bus?
Answer: Under certain circumstances, ineligible students may be allowed to ride the school bus. Medical necessity, safety, special hardship, etc. are just a few reasons. You may request an exception for your student from the Superintendent of School by contacting that office at 874-8100.

3) The bus goes right by my house. Why can’t it stop here?
Answer: School bus stops are placed in central locations to shorten route length and travel times. Transportation Services makes every effort to see that these stops are safe and have appropriate walking routes to them. In many cases a bus will stop at a front door if there is no appropriate stop within a reasonable distance. By statute, school buses must also have at least one hundred feet between bus stops. Please contact the transportation office if you feel your child’s stop is unsafe or should otherwise be changed.

4) My child goes to school in one district but my daycare is in another. Can my child ride to and from daycare to school?
Answer: Transportation across district lines is not permitted under normal circumstances. Route timing, distances, and bus capacities make it impossible to accommodate this type of request.

5) My child is not eligible for transportation but attends a daycare in an area that is eligible for transportation. Is my child eligible to ride to and from school from the daycare?
Answer: No. A student who is ineligible for “to and from” school transportation is not eligible to ride to a daycare in an eligible area.

6) I think my child is eligible for transportation but I’m told the distance is not far enough? How do I resolve this?
Answer: All home locations within the city use the city tax maps to calculate distances. They are very accurate. If you feel your child is eligible contact Transportation Services and they measure the distance.

7) My child occasionally needs to ride home to a different location. Is this possible?
Answer: Eligible students may be dropped off at a different location only with the written permission of a parent or guardian, and only if the alternate location is eligible for transportation. Parents should present a note to the school administrator when this becomes necessary.

8) Why do some buses always look empty?
Answer: Transportation Services makes every effort to fully maximize bus capacities. On occasion, buses may not be fully utilized due to the nature of the transportation. Special Education and other programming needs may dictate fewer students riding a particular bus. Also note that a bus could be in the middle of it's route.

9) What happens if my child loses something on the bus?
Answer: Drivers inspect the interior of the bus after each route. Articles may be claimed directly from the driver or you may contact the transportation office at 874-8240. Unclaimed articles are kept at the transportation office “lost and found”.

10) Are seat belts required on school buses?
Answer: Seat belts on school buses are not required equipment. School buses utilize the “compartmentalization” concept to insure student safety. Since the mid - 70’s the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that this approach to student safety is the most practical for school buses. Compartmentalization is an arrangement whereby seats are placed close together to absorb the energy of a child’s body thrown against it. Additional padding, higher seat backs, frame construction, and anchoring requirements make compartmentalization the accepted choice of and the industry standard.

Transportation Services does utilize lap belts and other restraint systems in certain circumstances. Special Education buses currently provide lap belts for all students. Pre-school students utilize a child-restraint system especially designed for younger children weighing less than 40 pounds.

11) I have a complaint about a bus driver. Who do I talk to about this?
Answer: Please call the transportation office at 874-8240 between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. Please ask for the Director of Transportation. 

12) My child is a Special Education student. Who do I contact to arrange transportation?
Answer: Please call the learning strategist at your child’s school. They will contact the transportation office to arrange for special needs transportation.

13) My child attends one school for most of the day but occasionally receives services at another school. Is transportation provided for this? 
Answer: Yes, transportation is typically provided if a student needs access to an alternative program within the district.

14) My child attends PATHS. Is transportation provided to and from PATHS.
Answer: Yes, transportation is provided from both Deering H.S. and Portland H.S.

15) Do you need a special license to drive a school bus?
Answer: Yes, all drivers are required to maintain in good standing a commercial drivers license (CDL) with a Y (school bus) endorsement.

16) Do students practice emergency evacuations from the school bus?
Answer: Yes, by law it is required on a semi-annual basis that all students be instructed in the proper way to evacuate a school bus in an emergency situation. Drills are performed on each route in the early fall and late spring of each school year. Drivers are trained in the proper use of emergency exits and procedures.