Admin

Basic Transportation Questions

INSTRUCTIONS:  Click on the question to read the answer.  Click on a question, again, to close the answer.

If a student resides within the two (2) mile limit to their assigned school and is not eligible for transportation, are there any exceptions?

By law, the State of Florida provides transportation funding for regular education students that live 2 or more miles from the school.

There is an exception for those students receiving special needs services through placement in an Exceptional Education Program(EEP).  The exception requires that each student placed on EEP have an active Individual Education Plan (IEP), or must be approved under the guidelines of Policy 504.

How are transported students notified of their bus schedules?

All schools are provided routing information for their students on a regular basis throughout the school year.  School staff can help you find your child's bus information at any time.

If you are a parent/guardian, bus route schedules can be found online and accessed by clicking on the Find-My-Bus link.

Who is responsible for student safety at a school bus stop?

Parents and guardians are responsible for their child's safety at bus stop.

How are bus routes and walking distances to stops established?

Transportation's Safety Department and Routing Specialists review walking distances and assign bus stops following the guidelines outlined in the Florida Department of Education Rules 6A-3.001, Basic Principles for Transportation of Students.

How are hazardous walking conditions determined for elementary-aged school students?

The Transportation Safety Department, along with the city and/or county agencies, will review walking paths throughout the year following the guidelines outlined in Florida Statute 1006.23 Hazardous walking conditions.

DEFINITION —As used in this section, the term “student” means any public elementary school student whose grade level does not exceed grade 6.

What do I do if my child's bus is late?

When our drivers see that they will be arriving late to a pick-up or drop off students, they will notify Dispatch.  Transportation Services will send an automated call (Connect Orange) to notify you if your child's bus is running late and provide an estimated time of delay. Please ensure that your daytime contact information is correct.  Your school's registrar can help you update your child's contact information in the student management system.

If you can not answer your phone, a voice mail message will be left for you.  Please check your messages before calling Transportation. 

Parents and guardians
can call 407-317-3807 to obtain the status of your bus at any time.

Who is my Transportation Services Contact?

If you have questions or concerns about your child's bus ride to and from school, the bus driver and/or monitor, contact the Area Manager assigned to your school.

For questions about bus stops or eligibility read Determining Student Eligibility for Transportation or speak  to speak to the Router assigned to school, click on Routing Specialist.

What do I do if my child left an item on the bus?

Please have your child check with his or her bus driver and/or monitor.  Bus drivers and/or monitors are required to check buses before and after every pickup and drop-off. Any items found on the bus will be gathered and kept by the bus driver and/or monitor until the next day.

Can I change my child’s assigned bus stop or route?

No. 

Routing Specialists review and route students per the guidelines as outlined in Florida Department of Education Rules 6A-3.001, Basic Principles for Transportation of Students.

How can I make a complaint, compliment, or suggestions about the bus service?

Please feel free to contact us at 407-317-3800.

Transportation Services is committed to providing excellent customer service and your child's safety is our number one priority.  We welcome any feedback.

What can my child take onto the bus?

Large items that would interfere with the seating and/or the safety of others on the bus are not allowed on a bus.  Other items not allowed on the bus would include things that could cause injury, i.e., athletic gear, large-sized class projects, skateboards, etc.

Please contact your Area Manager if you have additional questions.

How do I apply for a job with Transportation Services?

Click for instructions on:

Or go to the Employment Services page for more information.

Is my child eligible for transportation?

In order to be eligible for OCPS school bus transportation the student must

  • Reside two or more miles from their assigned school, be a participant in a designated Exceptional Education Program with an active Individual Education Plan (IEP), or a 504 Plan that has been approved by the school principal or their designee.
  • Be an elementary student who resides within two (2) miles of their assigned school but do not have a pedestrian route from their home to school that is free of hazards as defined by FS 1006.23.

Determining the two-mile limit for OCPS school bus transportation is outlined in FDOE Rule 6A-3.001. Essentially the distance is measured from a point where the student’s home property meets the public right of way (in the case of a gated subdivision with a private road system, it’s where the subdivision’s entrance meets the public right of way) to the nearest building entrance of the assigned school.  It is the shortest pedestrian route, whether or not it is accessible to motor vehicles. 

All other students whose homes fall within two (2) miles of their assigned school unless otherwise designated are ineligible for OCPS school bus transportation.

How do I find my child’s bus stop and stop times?

You can call or visit your child's school for help in finding your child's bus information.  Bus route schedules can also be found online on Find My Bus.

For more information, contact the Routing Specialist assigned to your child's school.

What do I have to do for bus transportation if my child is on split custody ?

The parents must write a letter outlining the court order custody agreement. The letter should outline

  • Which days or weeks the student will ride which bus.
  • The court documents will be shown to the school as proof.
  • Both parents must sign the letter.
  • The principal and designee will sign the letter and a copy will be given to both drivers.

The student will only be assigned to the bus with the address of record and the other bus the student would ride would be based on Space Available bus service.

What is Space Available bus service?

Routing Specialists work to fill each bus as near to its capacity as possible, but sometimes there are extra seats available on a bus.  If a student is ineligible for transportation service but wishes to board a bus that has unused seating capacity, they may do so at the last regular scheduled stop prior to the two mile limit.  We cannot stop at the home address nor can the student/s board in the middle of the route.  This service becomes available after the first four weeks of the new school year as routes and student loads constantly change during this time frame. 

Please Note:

  • If a student needs to ride a different bus or has a split custody situation, the same would apply.
  • This service is highly unreliable because eligible students may fill the unused seats as the year progresses
  • If more ineligible students wish to ride the bus than there are seats available, then NONE are allowed to ride so as not to create a neighborhood controversy as to who received a ride and who did not.

Field Trip Questions

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How do I know if my bus is confirmed for a field trip?

Field trip logs are available online, one week prior to the trip.  To confirm that your trip has been scheduled, click on the link below to see the trip schedules for the week:

You can also call the Field Trip office at 407-317-3800, extension 206-3826 or email them at trans-trips@ocps.net

 

What if my bus driver does not show up at a pick-up location at the specified time?

Contact the dispatch office at 407-317-3483 Monday thru Friday up to 9:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. on school holidays and during the summer).  

After that time, or on weekends, contact the on-call manager at 407-419-0500.

Where can I find information about vendors available for use on field trips?

Employees can view the available vendors on the Procurement Services intranet pages.  Additional information is also available on the Transportation Services - Field Trips website.

Can I request a specific bus operator for a field trip?

As a courtesy, the Field Trip Office considers a request for a specific bus operator, however, please understand we must make every effort to equally assign our workload.

Can overnight trips be scheduled?

Bus operators are not available for overnight trips. A drop-off and a pick-up may be scheduled within the normal field trip hours, with the school principal approval.

Who decides what the more suitable route is (bus operator or person in charge of trip)?

School officials may suggest and work with the bus operators to decide which route is best.

Who is the responsible for fueling the vehicle?

Transportation Services is responsible for fueling the vehicle.

Within what distance can we travel on an OCPS vehicle? Are we allowed to go on an out of state trip?

OCPS vehicles can travel within the state of Florida. If your destination is outside the State of Florida, you will need to obtain other services.

Who is responsible for providing directions to a specific destination on field trip?

School officials are responsible for providing the trip office with a destination name and address of the desired destination on the request. The information is then available to the bus operator for pre-planning.

Is the cost the same for the different size buses?

The cost is the same for all bus sizes.

Are there any blackout dates when Transportation does not provide Field Trip service?

Yes, the last two weeks of school and the week of Fall Conference, which is held the week before the school year starts.

e-Mail us at Trans-trips@ocps.net for the current year’s dates.

What times can I schedule a bus?

A bus may be scheduled Monday through Friday.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday a bus can be scheduled from 9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
After school, the starting time is 4:45 p.m.

Wednesday is “early day” and the times are 9:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  After school on Wednesday, the starting time is 3:45 p.m.

During the weekends, holidays, and normal school breaks, buses may be scheduled at anytime.

What is the earliest that the bus can arrive in the morning?

The earliest buses can be scheduled for pick-up in the morning is 9:45 a.m., Monday through Friday.

What is the earliest time in the afternoon that the bus can arrive after the school releases the students?

The earliest buses can arrive in the afternoon is 4:45 p.m. (Wednesdays is 3:45 p.m.); additional travel time will be taken into consideration when scheduling pick-ups at sites like Disney, LegoLand, Universal, and out of county trips.

How do we calculate the time for each trip?

When calculating estimated times for field trips always take into consideration travel time for the bus operator leaving the compound and/or bus operator’s location at that time and travel time back to his/her parking location.

Drop-off requests have a two-hour minimum charge. Pick-up requests also have a two-hour minimum charge.

How much time in advance do we have to cancel a bus?

Two business days notice is needed to avoid a cancellation fee. Any trip cancellation with less than the two-day notification will result in a two-hour minimum charge.

Please use form ET122, available on our website. The cancellation must be in writing and emailed to trans-trips@ocps.net, during normal business hours.

How do we cancel a bus after the order has been made?

Written notification will be required to cancel a bus after the placing an order. Please use form ET122 and email the cancellation notice to trans-trips@ocps.net.

How much does it cost per hour?

The rate per hour:

 OCPS schools will be charged $47.00 per hour for the bus and bus operator plus $.50 per mile.

 Non-school organizations will also be charged $47.00 per hour for the bus and bus operator plus $.50 per mile.

 $18.00 per hour for a bus monitor, if requested or required.

 $10.00 per hour late fee may be applied for trips requested less than 10 business days.

 Any trip cancellation with less than the two days notification will result in a two-hour minimum charge.

When does the billing occur for each field trip?

After a trip has been completed, the bus operator will turn in a trip ticket TS-3 to his or her area manager.

Field Trip tickets will be submitted to the Field Trip Office for billing. OCPS customers’ cost center will be billed and external customers will be mailed an invoice for payment. This time may vary; such procedure will depend on the number of trips to be processed in conjunction with other factors.

What is the passenger capacity of an OCPS school bus?

An OCPS school bus will vary anywhere from 65 to 77 passengers, depending on the size of the bus and the size of the passengers (you can fit more elementary students on a bus versus high school students because of their smaller size).

A wheelchair accessible bus may hold between 20-25 passengers, depending on the number of wheelchair hookups on that bus.

How can we transport students/faculty/chaperones with special needs on field trips?

When requesting a bus for the trip, please indicate that it is special needs and the equipment needs. An appropriate bus will then be assigned to fit these needs.

Due to required specialized training for loading and unloading and properly
securing wheelchairs, it is REQUIRED that a Transportation Services’ bus monitor be used on all field trips when transporting students/faculty/chaperones in wheelchairs

How can we transport luggage or equipment?

An additional bus can be ordered.

Can we bring food or drink on the bus?

It can be transported but not consumed on the bus; unless there is a medical requirement.

Who can we contact if a school changes something during a trip?

During after hours and on weekends, contact Transportation Services’ on call manager at 407-419-0500.

Monday through Friday, Dispatch at 407-317-3483, from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. school holidays and summer).