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Transportation FAQs

Are bus stops the same every year?

No. While stops are fairly consistent from year to year, changes may be made based on student enrollment.

We live outside the school division. Will my student be transported to school?

Yes, the division will transport your student. However, the location of the stop is based on the amount of space available on a particular bus. If the HCPS Pupil Transportation Department verifies that there is room on a bus, then it is the parent’s responsibility to transport the child to and from an existing bus stop each day. No new stops or special arrangements will be made for out-of-division students. If a bus becomes overcrowded, an out-of-division student will be assigned to an alternate bus stop.

My student’s bus is crowded and overloaded. How will this be corrected?

It is our goal to use all the space on all the buses in our fleet. The term “overloaded” indicates a bus is filled beyond its rated capacity.

Why can’t my student bring his large band instrument onto the bus?

All items carried onto a bus must be held on the lap of a student. Articles may not occupy a seat, be under a seat, be in the aisle or block emergency exits.

Band instruments allowed on a bus are those small enough to be held in the student’s lap and not exceed the height of the seat or interfere with the seating space of other students. Hockey and lacrosse sticks, along with bats, golf clubs, sleds, skateboards, skis, snow boards or any other piece of recreational equipment are not allowed on buses for student transportation.

Isn’t the school division required to transport my child?

School divisions are not required by law to transport regular education children. Virginia law outlines the obligations of a school division if its school board elects to provide transportation. The school division is obligated to provide for the transportation of a special education student if an Individualized Educational Planning Committee has determined that the transportation is a specialized service which is included within the student’s IEP and necessary to carry it out.

My child is starting kindergarten. Will the bus pick my child up in front of my house?

There are no laws or regulations for transporting regular education students enrolled in kindergarten with regard to the placement of a bus stop.

Is there a law about how far my child has to walk to the bus stop?

No law specifies the maximum distance a student may walk to the bus stop. HCPS’ distance is up to 0.3 mile to school for students in grades K-5 and up to 0.5 mile to a stop for students in grades 6-12. Distances may be farther for cul-de-sacs, subdivisions, dead-ends and one-way roads.

What other factors are involved in establishing where the school bus stops?

There are many factors taken into consideration when school administrators establish the placement of school bus stops. The primary concern is the visibility of buses to other traffic and the consideration of stopping distances necessary for other motor vehicles, to accomplish safe loading and unloading of students. In general, this means continuous visibility on a highway or road where the speed limit is more than 35 miles per hour, and 200 feet where the speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour. There is no state law which specifies a maximum distance between stops.

What about the safety of my child getting to and from the bus stop?  There are no sidewalks where we live and it’s not very safe walking on the busy road we live on.

It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to see that a child gets safely to and from the bus stop. The school division provides transportation as a non-mandated service and establishes placement of bus stops in accordance with the requirements of the law.