Information on Transportation
- Bus Assignment
- Bus Stops
- Route Timing
- Child Care
- Medical Conditions
- Temporary Transportation
- Change of Address
- Inclement Weather
- Riding Privileges
By statute school districts are required to transport students living more than 2 miles from school. In Rochester, students in grades K-5 living more than 1.25 miles, grades 6-8 living more than 1.5 miles and 9-12 living more than 2 miles are provided transportation.
How does the district measure the distance between a child’s home and the school?
The non-busing boundaries are computer generated using a positional accurate map from the Olmsted County GIS division. The distance is generated from property entrance to property entrance using the shortest path taking into account walk paths, etc.
Allowing children to ride buses they are not assigned to may cause overcrowding on those buses, preventing the students assigned to them from having a safe and comfortable ride. Consistency of routes is also very important for safety. Therefore, students must ride only the buses to which they are assigned. In order to be fair and consistent, this policy applies to all students. Students will not be allowed to ride with friends for any reason.
I would like my child to ride the bus home with a friend. How can I arrange this?
Students are to ride their assigned bus due to space limitations and student tracking. If you are called out of town on an emergency, a temporary care form can be filled out. This will be honored if there is a bus in the area with room for the student. Only the Temporary Care form will be honored, signed notes from parents are not accepted.
Bus stops are determined by need and location of bus riders and may change from year to year. Students must use the stop assigned unless another stop is approved by the Transportation staff. It is not unusual for students to walk several blocks to an assigned bus stop. Bus drivers are not required to stop if there are no students waiting, so it is important for students to be at the stop a few minutes before bus time, waiting to board the bus.
When school opens in the fall, inconsistencies in route timings are often experienced. Fortunately, the weather during that time of the year is usually quite pleasant and we appreciate your patience as the drivers get familiar with their routes and riders. As the year progresses, the times should be more consistent, but it is still a good idea to be at the bus stop no more than 5 to 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled pick-up time. The weather, traffic, and students not riding can affect the timing.
The district will provide transportation to and from a daycare as long as the daycare address meets the same requirements as your home address.
Also, transportation to and from daycare must be consistent meaning that the pickup and drop off point must be the same every day.
Transportation can be provided to and/or from child care if the following circumstances exist:
- The child care is in the attendance area of the school your child attends.
- The child care address is more than 1.25 miles from the school.
- Child Care Request form is completed in its entirety and signed by both parent and child care giver.
- The child care, in cases of kindergarten students, has the same AM/PM assignment.
Requests for transportation from child care must be made every school year using the form available in the Transportation Office | Room 122, Edison Building, 615 7th Street SW, Rochester, MN.
In Minnesota, riding a school bus is a privilege and not a right. Each local school district has adopted rules of conduct for waiting at the bus stop and riding the school bus. If your child does not follow the rules, your child could lose their bus riding privileges for the entire school year.
Parents and guardians should read and explain these rules to their children. We ask your cooperation in helping us provide a safe and pleasant ride for all students by impressing upon your child(ren) the importance of bus safety and courtesy at the bus stop and on the bus.
- I am open enrolling my child into your district. What are the responsibilities of the enrolling district regarding transportation?
- How far can a school district require a child to walk to a bus stop?
- Is the school district required to transport children who live less than 2 miles from school if there is a hazard between the home and the school?
- My child doesn’t qualify for busing. Can I pay for transportation?
- Is there a law or rule that limits the amount of time a child can spend on the school bus?
- Are there any laws and rules that limit the passenger seating on a school bus?
There is nothing in state law or rule about the distance between the child’s home and the bus stop. This is true for all grade levels.
Visibility of a bus stop from the child’s home is not a deciding factor for bus stops. In Rochester, students living in cul-de-sac up to ½ mile are expected to walk out to the intersection. It is not uncommon for students to walk up to 3 blocks.
The only exception would be for a special education student.
No. A school district may transport children who would encounter an extraordinary traffic, drug, or crime hazard if they walked, but the school district is not required to provide transportation. In Rochester, the district provides adult crossing guards at 39 locations and does bus for a very limited amount of hazardous conditions, due to extraordinary traffic hazards.
Who determines what conditions are extraordinary traffic, drug, or crime hazards?
The school district would determine what conditions would be considered hazardous. In Rochester, the district consults with the city traffic engineer to get advice on this subject.
There is nothing in state law or rule that sets a maximum amount of time a child can spend on the school bus. Local school districts may adopt a maximum time in their School Board’s transportation policy.
In Rochester, our goal is to keep rides as close to one hour as possible, but students in outlying areas do have rides longer than one hour.
Yes. The number of children on the school bus cannot be more than the number of passengers that can be fully seated. The seating capacity must be adjusted according to each passenger’s physical size, but cannot be more than the manufacturer’s rated seating capacity for the bus. No child is allowed to stand while the bus is in motion.