Frequently Asked Questions
• There are several reasons for this:
• Students are generally taught to cross at coroners rather than in the middle of a street. Traffic controls, such as stoplights or signs are located at corners.
• This tends to slow down motorists at corners and they tend to be more cautious as they approach intersections.
• The motoring public generally expects school buses to stop at corners rather than individual houses.
• Impatient motorists are less likely to pass buses at corners than along a street.
• In the winter, salting and sanding is usually done at corners, providing safer stopping for buses and cars. Bus drivers, especially substitutes, can locate corner stops easily, and do not need to search for individual house numbers.
• Corner stops or central points, allow for consistency from year to year.
• Once again, there are several reasons for this:
• Efficiency is paramount to our transportation system.
• Entering each cul-de-sac adds significant time to a route. Time the driver and students do not have. Minimizing bus stops reduces costs for fuel as well as wear and tear on the buses.
• Many cul-de-sacs are not designed for large vehicle. A full-sized bus needs at least 115 feet to safely turn and most cul-de-sacs are 90 feet wide.
• Backing a school bus is a dangerous maneuver and not recommended by the Minnesota State Highway Patrol.
• Many neighborhoods use the cul-de-sac as an extension of their yards. We do not want the driver to have to navigate parked cars, basketball hoops, boat trailers, and children's toys.
• It depends on the school your student attends. Most routes average 50 minutes or less.
• Because a large part of our transported area is in northeast Minneapolis, it takes time to cover such a large area.
• Some routes run up to an hour and 15 minutes in length.
• Not necessarily. Routes are designed both in a "circular" style (same route in the morning and afternoon) or "straight line" style (farthest point to closest point, reverse in the afternoon.) While we would like to say the first on in the morning is the first off in the afternoon, we need to design the bus routes to be as efficient as possible.
• The Transportation is happy to consider your request. However, most bus stops are established for a reason, and will not be changed. Very rarely will we consider house stops in suburban neighborhoods.
• It is not possible to provide bus stops that are within sight of all student homes or daycares. Most families that live even one house from the corner cannot see the corner bus stop without coming out of their homes. We encourage parents to be out at bus stops to promote proper pedestrian and bus stop behavior.
Each time a bus enters a neighborhood, it's likely to pass by one or more of the student's houses as it approaches a bus stop. Stopping at individual houses would be inefficient and increases the possibility of driver's missing bus stops. Bus stops are established to service as many students as possible, and to be consistent from year to year.
The School District has established walking distances to schools for each grade level. No bussing zones have been created for each school using these parameters. At this time hazardous road situations are identified in each zone. The current parameters are:
• Kindergarten - Grade 5 .75 mile (Major highways are considered hazardous)
• Grades 6-12 - 1.25
The Transportation Department has a computerized mapping system that determines the distance to school for each student. If there is a question, a Transportation Staff member will walk the distance with a measuring device to verify the measurement. The distance is calculated from the center of the street in front of the residence driveway to the safest, most direct point that the student will enter the school's campus. The measurement does not include the resident's personal property, not the schools property.
You will need to fill out an Alternate Address Form and submit it to the Transportation Office. The form is available at each school, or can be found on our website. Once the form is submitted, it usually takes 2-3 days before the change goes into effect, so please don't wait until the last minute. This form must be filled out each year, it does not carry over. This is also the form that should be used for shared custody circumstances, and should be filled out by both parents.
State statute (MN. Statute 123B.90) requires students be trained semi-annually (K through 10th) in
school bus evacuations and other emergency procedures. These drills are carefully planned and supervised to provide meaningful experiences for emergency situations.
All students (including walkers) are given an opportunity to participate, including those
children who only ride a bus on a special trip.
The major objective of a school bus evacuation drill is to get the children off the bus
safely, in the shortest possible time and in an orderly fashion. If an emergency did happen, the students have practiced exactly what to do.