Transportation Policy

Transportation Mission

The mission of AISD Transportation is to provide safe, reliable and professional transportation service for our students in an efficient and effective manner according to the parameters set forth by the District’s policy, and in adherence to applicable State and Federal Laws.

Eligible Student Riders

Students are eligible for transportation route service if the following criteria are met:

  • Students live 2 or more miles from their campus of regular attendance—home school or magnet school—measured along the shortest route to school. The home school campus is determined by the student's residential address and the assignment boundary of each school.
  • Students living within 2 miles of their home school or magnet school, who would be subject to hazardous traffic conditions if they were to walk to school.

Transportation service eligibility for any specific magnet program is determined by board policy. Transfer students are not eligible for transportation route service. Please call 512-414-0238 for more information. 

Hazardous Conditions Policy

A road condition is considered hazardous to student pedestrian traffic under the following conditions:

  • Students must walk along or across a freeway, an expressway, an overpass, an underpass, or bridge where no walkway is provided.
  • Students must cross an uncontrolled major traffic artery.
  • Neighborhood streets without a sidewalk are not considered hazardous to pedestrian traffic.

Road conditions are evaluated by the Safety Supervisor and if a road is deemed hazardous based on the criteria listed above, a safe walk path or transportation service will be provided. The AISD Transportation scheduling department always provides a recommended safe walk path for students not eligible for transportation service. We collaborate with the City of Austin’s “Safe Routes to School” program & TX DOT for recommendations for safe walk paths or additional safety trainings provided by them including but not limited to “Walking School Bus”, “Side Walk Improvements”, crossing guards or additional safety signage.

Transportation Registration

Once a student is enrolled in an Austin ISD school, he/she will automatically be assigned to a transportation route if they are eligible for service based on the student’s primary address. Students will only be scheduled on one school bus to one primary residential address.  Parents do not need to do anything other than to make sure District has the correct primary registered address.
A non-eligible student may ride on a school bus with a bus pass from the principal’s office if there is room available. Once a bus becomes overcrowded, all non-eligible students will no longer be permitted to ride for the remainder of the school year. Students will receive a 3-day written notice prior to removal from an overcrowded bus. 
All school buses allow room for no more than 3 students to a seat for elementary students and 2 students to a seat for middle & high school students. 

Scheduling Guidelines

Bus routes are created to enhance student safety while maximizing vehicle efficiency. Bus routes will be designed to keep the ride time as short as possible for all students.

Bus Stop Policy: Definitions and Parameters

Basic Considerations
School bus stops are situated so as to allow students to wait off the main roadway for the bus if at all possible. Stop locations are determined by analyzing all or some of the following: population density within a given neighborhood, traffic patterns, and sidewalk locations. Stops are spread as far apart as policy will allow in order to decrease the number of stops each bus will make on its route, thus minimizing riding time for the students. Stops are not placed in dead end streets whenever possible to minimize bus accidents while backing (Backing is a very dangerous maneuver for a school bus).

Bus Stop Walk Range
The bus stop walk range is defined as the maximum walking distance from a student’s residential address to the student’s assigned stop location. The stop range for elementary school students is one quarter mile, for middle school students it is 0.5 mile, for high school students it is one mile. For magnet campuses, designated academies and special programs approved for District wide busing, please note the following: because of time constraints and bus passenger capacity, the maximum walk is 1.25 miles. Landmark locations, such as AISD school campuses, may be used to accommodate the most students possible in a timely and efficient manner.

Residential Address
The student’s residential address is recorded and maintained in the AISD student data system. That address is automatically imported into AISD’s transportation routing software from the district database. All address changes must be reported to the registrar of the student’s assigned school. Transportation department personnel cannot enter or edit information as recorded in the district student data system, nor can we act as intermediary between parents and schools regarding address changes.

Route Changes
Transportation routes are re-evaluated and adjusted prior to the start of school each year, and as necessary during the school year, to provide the best service for all eligible students. Routes are subject to change as required by considerations pertaining to student load and bus capacity, total ride time, arrival time at school, and bus route coordination with the bell times of elementary, middle and high school levels.

Requests for Stop Location Changes, or Additional Stops
We constantly evaluate bus stop locations to be as efficient and fair as possible. Requests for stop location changes, or additional bus stops on a route, are evaluated according to the policy regarding stop location and ‘stop range’ walking distance as defined above. The highest priority will be given to stop change requests that meet the following conditions.

  1. The student's walk to stop is in excess of the 'stop range' policy as stated above.
  2. The student's walk to stop is hazardous as defined under the "Hazardous Conditions Policy" stated above.
  3. The stop location is in close proximity to a hazard that could compromise the safety of students.

If you are new to the district (or to a particular school), are eligible for transportation service, but do not have a bus stop within the stop range walking distance for the student’s school level, please call the transportation department at 512-414-0238 to request a stop.

Please note that it may take up to three to five business days to make a route change (or longer at the beginning of the school year, or if the new stop will significantly change the pickup times for other students on the route), so you may have to make arrangements for your child to get to and from school during this time. If changes to school bus routes do affect the pickup and dropoff times for other students on the route, all parents must be given adequate notice.

Pick Up Time Policy and Notification
Bus route stop times are scheduled as accurately as possible, and drivers are instructed to arrive safely at each stop at the designated time. Due to possible variances between individual clocks, students are asked to arrive at the bus stop 5 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time.

Drivers will depart the bus stop when students are safely seated. To maintain the schedule and arrive at school on time, drivers cannot wait for late students. Please understand that under any circumstance, a student running to catch a school bus is a safety hazard. In the afternoon, all buses will wait 7 minutes at the school for students to board. Students are expected to proceed immediately to the buses.

Once school officials release the buses from school, drivers are instructed not to stop or open the door for late students. If students run after moving buses, expecting a bus stop, it creates a safety hazard due to the students being too close to moving bus wheels.

Before the beginning of each school year, transportation notification letters are mailed to the parents or guardians of all students currently eligible for school bus transportation in AISD. Those students who are assigned to a bus stop are informed of the route name and bus number, stop location and stop time.

Those students who may be eligible for transportation by the residence address as recorded in the District Student Data system, but who do not have a stop assignment, will receive a letter informing them to call the Transportation Department at 512-414-0238 to request school bus transportation.