Seattle Public Schools

Departments

Transportation

Seattle Public Schools Transportation Department

The Seattle Public Schools Transportation Department arranges transportation services for a variety of students attending Seattle Public Schools and Head Start.

Changes to Transportation for the 2023-24 School Year

Information regarding the changes to transportation services for the 2023-24 school year can be found at the Transportation Changes for the 2023-24 school year page.

Arrival/Departure Times and Transportation Service Standards

The Arrival/Departure times document contains information regarding the targeted arrival and departure times for buses serving those locations.

The Transportation Service Standards include information about who is eligible for transportation services and what kind of service they could be eligible for. There is also information about bus stop placement, conditions for changing a bus stop location, and the use of an alternate address.

Employment Opportunities

The Transportation Department is looking for Hourly Bus Monitors and Crossing Guards. Read more about our job opportunities!

Please contact Transportation transdept@enkarpen.com for further information.


Recent Transportation Announcements

Graphic of a cloud with rain falling, there is an exclamation point in the cloud

Preparing for Winter Weather

Seattle Public Schools is actively monitoring weather forecasts and road conditions.

New Program Coordinator for Safe Routes to Schools

Brooke Nelson, Program Coordinator for Safe Routes to Schools Brooke Nelson has been hired as program coordinator of Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS). In this role, Brooke will work with […]


Group of students walking to North Beach Elementary

Walk, Bike, and Roll to School

About 1/3 of Seattle Public School students walk or bike to school most days! View resources to support more students to walk, bike, and roll.


Bike to Books

In spring 2023, Dunlap and South Shore students submitted designs for an art competition. These are the designs from Ms. Adrian’s and Mr. Horner’s art classes that the Seattle Department of Transportation will paint in the street next year! They’ll be on the “Healthy Street” route between Othello Playground and Rainier Beach library.

Cute Puppy Artist Angie Tang
Slow Down I'm Reading, Artist Haylee Baker
The Ocean Bike, artist John Nguyen
Dolphin Rider Artist: Ryo Taylor
The Bunny and the Nuggets with the Umbrella, Artist: Yolanda Pablo Pablo
Biker Girl artist Sophia Navarro
Dude with glasses, hat, and hand in a peace sign rides a green and purple bike.
Girl riding a green, yellow, and orange striped bike.
Three pigs with sunglasses on hold each other on to ride a blue bike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Seattle Public Schools Transportation Department can be reached in the following ways:

Email: transdept@enkarpen.com
Phone: 206-252-0900

Mail:
Seattle Public Schools
Transportation Department
PO BOX 34165
MS 23-169
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

Please include your student’s name, student ID number and how we may contact you.

PLEASE NOTE: Seattle Public Schools Transportation Department receives the highest volume of calls when school buses are providing service, between 7-10 a.m. and 2-5 p.m.

A student’s eligibility for transportation is determined based on the following factors:

  • Grade Level
    • Elementary and K-8 school sites have a 1-mile walk boundary. Eligible students are provided service primarily on yellow school buses.
    • Middle school sites have a 2-mile walk boundary. Usually yellow school bus.
      • If the student’s assignment address is within the attendance area, AND outside of the 2-mile walk boundary, the student is eligible for district arranged transportation (usually yellow bus service).
      • If the student’s assignment address within the attendance area, AND inside of the walk boundary, they are not eligible for transportation.
    • High school sites have a 2-mile walk boundary.
      • In general students in high school are not eligible for transportation and needs are met via public transportation.
  • School/Program
    • Transportation service at attendance area schools is limited to their attendance area boundary.
    • Transportation service at Option schools are usually limited to the Middle School attendance area in which they are geographically located.
    • If a student is placed in a program that is not available at the attendance area school, then transportation is usually provided in alignment with the Linked Schools Charts.
    • Choice assignments are not eligible for transportation.

Additional information about transportation eligibility can be found in the Transportation Service Standards, which are located on the main transportation webpage.

If there are additional questions/inquiries about transportation eligibility, please contact the Seattle Public Schools transportation office.

Drivers plan to run routes as scheduled. However, it is possible for delays to occur due to traffic, weather, construction, and other circumstances.

When the bus is late, we recommend that your student stay at the bus stop location. The bus, or a replacement bus will complete the route as soon as possible and you may miss the bus if you are not at the stop. Families should create a plan with their student in the event that the bus is late.

To get an update on the status of your student’s route, check the delayed bus information page on the transportation website. You may also contact transportation at 206-252-0900.

Students may have one bus stop in the morning and one bus stop in the afternoon. If you are requesting a stop change for a daycare or alternate address, you will need to contact the transportation office and provide the following information:

  • Complete daycare/alternate address
  • Name of the person responsible for your student
  • A phone number that person can be reached at
  • Your student’s name, student ID number and your contact information

Normal processing for a stop change request could take up to two weeks. Additional processing time should be expected during the start of the school year due to the high volume of requests. If you are requesting a different bus route or different stop location, you will need to contact the transportation office and request your preferred bus/bus stop. Plan on providing a brief explanation for why you are requesting the change.

Your request will be checked against safety guidelines and the Transportation Service Standards.

Responses to requests are usually answered through the mail with a new assignment or a denial letter explaining the reasons for the decision.

To report a complaint, you should contact the transportation office by email

transdept@enkarpen.com or 206-252-0900.

Be prepared to report the following information:

  • Bus route, date/time that the incident occurred
  • Explanation of the incident

If you would like a response to the investigation, you will need to leave your name and contact information.

For general education students in grades K- 12, parents do not have to be at the bus stop for their child to be let off the bus. However, we encourage all parents/guardians to have a plan in place so that their student arrives home safely.

Special education students in Pre-K and kindergarten must be met at their bus stop location in the afternoon.

Special education students in grades first through 12th must be met at their bus stop location, unless their parent/guardian has turned in the release of responsibility form which gives permission for their student to get off the bus without someone present. The release of responsibility form is available from your student’s bus driver, as well as a link to the form on the transportation home page.

If a special education student cannot be dropped off because someone was not there for them, or a general education student was uncomfortable getting off the bus without someone there to meet them, the following will occur:

  • The bus driver will contact their dispatcher to let them know that they have a student who cannot/will not get off the bus and in most cases, continue their route to deliver any other students still on the bus.
  • The dispatcher will alert transportation staff, who will attempt to contact the parent/guardian.
    • If the parent/guardian can be reached, arrangements will be made to connect the student to their parent/guardian.
    • If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, all other emergency contacts will be attempted.
    • In the event that no one can be reached, the student will either be returned to school and placed in the care of the school staff or brought to the nearest police precinct. The parent/guardian will be responsible for picking their student up.

Alternative/daycare addresses must also meet eligibility guidelines set by the Transportation Service Standards.

Each student’s transportation has been established using the home or alternate/daycare address currently in our records.

If you are requesting a change to your current service address, you will need to email the transportation office at transdept@enkarpen.com.

Required information includes the following:

  • Complete daycare/alternate address
  • Name of the person responsible for your student
  • A phone number that person can be reached at
  • Your student’s name, student ID number and contact information that you can be reached at

Responses to requests are usually answered through the mail with a new assignment or a denial letter explaining the reasons for the decision.

A new statewide program is allowing youth (under the age of 19) to ride public transit for free. This means that ORCA cards are no longer being provided through Seattle Public Schools.

New requests will need to be sent through the myORCA webpage.

Please visit our ORCA card page for current ORCA card information.

There are several reasons why transportation service for you/your student may have changed.

Each year, there are ongoing modifications to school assignment boundaries and several building relocations as schools are renovated. These modifications will impact the transportation being provided.

In some cases, students who had specialized transportation services included in their IEP before may no longer require the same level of service they were being provided during the previous school year.

Yes, your student may ride home with another student who is assigned to a bus route. A temporary transportation pass (yellow card) can be obtained through your student’s school. Most schools require a signed note from the parent/guardian giving permission for their student to ride the bus to another stop location. You will need to obtain the bus number and stop location.

Buses routes are planned so that students arrive 15 minutes prior to school. The goal is to have buses arrive at the school with at least 10 minutes for breakfast before school starts.

Yes. The Transportation Department develops snow routes to respond to ice and snow events, and collaborates closely with the City of Seattle Department of Transportation to ensure a coordinated response during these events. See the inclement weather transportation plan for details. (Update in November)

Seattle Public Schools is partnering with Zūm to provide school bus and alternative transportation for students. In the last 2 years, Zūm has successfully delivered over 21,000 safe rides for more than 500 students in Seattle Public Schools. Zūm partners with over 250 school districts across the county and has been a transportation partner for Seattle Public Schools since 2019.  Zūm drivers are vetted to transport students, including background checks and vaccine verification. Zūm also offers a parent app where parents can view their child’s driver and vehicle, cancel a ride, track the ride and receive pick-up/drop-off notifications.

For general education students on a school bus route, the Transportation Department does not need to be notified if a student is not riding temporarily due to illness, vacation, or other reasons. Transportation will need to be notified if the student will not utilize the bus service or if the student is using our alternative service providers.

For special education students the Transportation Department will need to be notified if a student is not riding temporarily due to illness, vacation, or other reasons. We will also need to be notified if they are not utilizing transportation services. Transportation service will be placed on hold if a student does not ride for 3 consecutive days with no previous notice. If this occurs, you may contact transportation to resume service.


Photo by Marcelo Cidrack on Unsplash