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FAQ - Student Eligibility for Transportation

Are the eligibility rules for NYC charter school students the same as those for district school students?


Grade Distance to School from Residence Service Provided
K-2 Less than ½ mile Half-fare MetroCard
K-2 Greater than ½ mile Yellow bus or free MetroCard
3-6 Less than ½ mile No transportation provided
3-6 Between ½ mile and 1 mile Half-fare MetroCard
3-6 Greater than 1 mile Yellow bus or free MetroCard
7-12 Less than ½ mile No transportation provided
7-12 Between ½ mile and 1-½ miles Half-fare MetroCard
7-12 1-½ miles or more Free MetroCard

Students in temporary housing (e.g., a homeless shelter) are exempt from age and distance requirements. More information on eligibility can be found here.

Is yellow bus service provided for students living in a borough other than the one in which their school is located?


If a student is eligible for yellow bus service according to the table above, is he/she guaranteed yellow bus service?

No. An initial bus route must include at least 11 students. Additionally, yellow bus routes cannot be longer than five miles (a measure of the actual length of the route, from the farthest stop through all other stops.) If a student’s stop makes a route longer than five miles, the student may not be placed on a yellow bus. Schools should not promise parents that their children will receive yellow school bus service even if they are eligible.

How does a charter school find out a student's eligibility?

Approximately 24-48 hours after a student is enrolled in a charter school, the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) will update the student's eligibility code in ATS.

Are transportation eligibility variances allowed?

Yes. One-year variances may be granted if:

  • There is a traffic-related hazard on the student’s walking route to school;
  • The student has a medical condition requiring an exception to the policies above;
  • There is an Order of Protection for the student;
  • The student has been the victim of a crime or is participating in an ongoing investigation;
  • It is difficult for the student to get to public transportation (e.g., a kindergarten student who lives 0.8 miles from the nearest public transportation stop);
  • There is limited access to public transportation due to proximity or availability – this variance changes the mode of transportation for someone already eligible by distance (e.g., a seventh grader would get to ride a yellow bus if the local public transportation did not start running until after the school day started).

What is the variance application process?

A transportation variance request form must be submitted.

Who informs families of transportation options and assignments?

The charter school does.