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Transportation Services

Transportation Services

Families and Students

Each and every school day, more than 91,000 Hillsborough County Students board school buses to travel to and from school. The yellow bus is a nationally recognized figure of public education and it is more than just a ride. In truth, it provides a gateway to education for students all over Hillsborough County that otherwise could not get to and from school.

Parents and students, the FAQ includes answers to all the most common questions our call center receives. Please let us know if there is other information you think should be included. Thank you.


Locate your attendance area school/s with the School Locator.

Disclaimer: All school attendance boundaries are subject to change by School Board action. The maps and descriptions are provided for convenience only.

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Students who live less than two miles from a school are not eligible for transportation based on the State Board of Education Rule 6-A 001(3).




  • Arrive at the bus stop about five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Never sit on the roadway or the curb while waiting for your bus; wait in a safe place away from the road.
  • Never speak to strangers at the bus stop or get into a car with a stranger. Always tell your parents, the bus driver and a teacher at school if a stranger tries to talk to you or pick you up.
  • When the bus stops, wait for the driver’s signal that it is safe to cross the road or board the bus.
  • If crossing the street, look left, right and left again. Make eye contact and make sure your bus driver can see you as you cross the street.
  • Never walk behind the school bus and stay away from the bus wheels at all times.
  • Know your bus driver’s name and bus number.
  • Remain seated at all times and keep the aisle clear.
  • Don’t put your head, hands or arms out the window.
  • Stop talking and remain silent when the bus comes to a railroad crossing so the driver can hear if a train is approaching.
  • Avoid any loud or disruptive behavior that could distract the bus driver from safely operating the bus (refer to student conduct).
  • Always wear seat belts when provided.

  • All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
  • On a highway divided by a paved median, all drivers moving in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying a stop signal, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.
  • On a highway divided by a raised barrier or an unpaved median at least 5 feet wide, drivers moving in the opposite direction do not have to stop for the bus (painted lines or pavement markings are not considered barriers). However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus.
  • Be alert and watch for children especially near schools, bus stops, school buses and in school parking lots.
  • Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones.
  • Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards.
  • Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS (HCPS) equally provides school bus transportation to all district students regardless of race, gender or national origin in accordance with the State of Florida and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) statutes and rules.

As a courtesy Hillsborough County Public Schools provided busing to students within the two-mile radius for many years.

Students who live within two miles are not included in the state’s funding for bus transportation unless the route to school has met certain hazardous road conditions that are established by the state of Florida.

The state provides funding to transport students who reside more than two miles from their assigned school. State funding is also provided for pre-kindergarten or special education students who require transportation living inside the two-mile boundary. Students not meeting the state’s hazardous criteria are known as unfunded courtesy riders, thus the term courtesy busing.

District Policy Change
Tuesday, December, 2016 Board approved changes to the courtesy busing program.

Hillsborough County School Board voted to eliminate courtesy busing for middle and high school students who do not meet state standards for hazardous road conditions starting in the 2017-18 school year.

How many students will this impact?
This will impact approximately 7,500 students across the district who will no longer have the courtesy busing option available to them. However, an estimated 800 middle and high school students will receive courtesy busing because their route meets the state criteria.

In order to be eligible for HCPS school bus transportation the student(s) 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.

Elementary students who reside within two (2) miles of their assigned school may receive HCPS school bus transportation if they do not have a pedestrian route from their home to school that is free of hazards as defined by FS 1006.23.

However, Hillsborough County Public Schools has chosen to provide bus transportation for secondary students if they meet the same hazardous conditions criteria.

Determining the two-mile limit for HCPS 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 HCPS school bus transportation.

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS (HCPS) equally provides school bus transportation to all district students regardless of race, gender or national origin in accordance with the State of Florida and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) statutes and rules.

In order to be eligible for HCPS school bus transportation the student(s) 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.

Elementary students who reside within two (2) miles of their assigned school may receive HCPS school bus transportation if they 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 HCPS 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 HCPS school bus transportation.

In order to be eligible for HCPS school bus transportation the student(s) 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.

Elementary students who reside within two (2) miles of their assigned school may receive HCPS school bus transportation if they do not have a pedestrian route from their home to school that is free of hazards as defined by FS 1006.23.

Under the provision in Florida Statue (1006.21, (3), (b)), the School Board of Hillsborough County has deemed that any middle school or high school student that meets the criteria under F.S. 1006.23, shall receive busing until such time the hazard is repaired.

If you are parent/guardian, bus stop times will be mailed out to the address on file, or can be assessed online by clicking on Find My Bus.

At the beginning of each school year, Transportation releases bus run information to the schools as soon as the routes are finished and approved. It is imperative that parents/guardians keep their address up-to-date with the school their student is registered at.

All schools are provided bus stop information for their students on a regular basis throughout the school year. Please contact your designated school if you have questions.

Florida Administrative Code 6A-3.0121
Parents/guardians of transported students are to ensure:

  • The safe travel of their student(s) during the portions of each trip to and from school and home when the students are not under the custody and control of the school district, including during each trip to and from home and the assigned bus stop when the school district provides bus transportation.
  • That students ride only on their assigned school buses, and get off only at assigned bus stops, except when the district has approved alternative buses or other temporary arrangements due to an emergency situation.
  • Students are aware of and follow the district’s adopted code of student conduct while the students are at school bus stops, and to provide necessary supervision during times when the bus is not present.
  • When the physical disability of the student renders the student unable to get on and off the bus without assistance, the parent or guardian provides the necessary assistance to help the student get on and off at the bus stop, as required by district policy or the student’s individual educational plan.

Transportation Services will send an automated call (ParentLink) to notify you if your child's bus is running late to or from school. You can also call your Area Transportation Office or the Call Center at 813-982-5500, after prompt press zero to obtain the status of your bus.

The student will be marked tardy, but tardiness due to “bus transportation” are excused and don’t count.

If you do not need transportation, please fill out a Transportation Opt-Out Form. You can retrieve the form at your school or the HCPS Transportation Office.

Always tell the principal first. If the principal can’t solve the problem, contact Transportation Services at 813-982-5500.

As per Florida Department of Education Rules 6A-3.001, Basic Principles for Transportation of Students:

(2) All school bus routes shall be so planned and adjusted to the capacities of available equipment and school buses should be so chosen and assigned to routes and attendance areas that insofar as practicable the full capacity of each bus will be utilized, without standees, to serve students whose homes are beyond reasonable walking distance of the assigned public school center.

(3) A reasonable walking distance for any student who is not otherwise eligible for transportation pursuant to Section 1011.68, F.S., is any distance not more than two (2) miles between the home and school or one and one-half (1 1/2) miles between the home and the assigned bus stop. Such distance shall be measured from the closest pedestrian entry point of the property where the student resides to the closest pedestrian entry point of the assigned school building or to the assigned bus stop. The pedestrian entry point of the residence shall be where private property meets the public right-of-way. The district shall determine the shortest pedestrian route whether or not it is accessible to motor vehicle traffic.

The driver is responsible for delivering students to and from school safely. Responsibilities include: operation of the vehicle; supervision of boarding and discharge; supervision of students while riding the bus; reporting safety and behavior incidents to the principal; and (if applicable) being sure that child restraint systems or wheelchair securement systems are in place.

No. The parent is responsible for being sure someone meets the child every day. If a student seems afraid or unwilling to be left at the stop, the driver will keep the student on the vehicle and continue on the route until a parent can be contacted. Parents should make sure their children are familiar with the surroundings at their bus stop and know the safest route to walk home if no one is there to meet them.

RESOURCES

BELL SCHEDULE

MAGNET RAMP LOCATIONS

SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

HAZARDOUS REVIEW REQUEST FORM

SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION



Bus Safety

Everyone has a role in school bus safety! A safe, pleasant, ride helps students start and end the school day on a positive note. This can have an enormous impact on a student's attitude toward school.

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