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Transportation

The role of the Transportation Department is to transport students safely and efficiently to and from school buildings and on field trips. The safety of our students is always a top priority and we recognize that transporting students adds an extra level of risk. All of our bus drivers are licensed and required to take a safety course geared specifically toward transporting school students.

We hope that your child will have a successful and enjoyable bus transportation experience.


Coordinator's Name: Sondra Baker
Phone:  281-5581
Email
bakers@billingsschools.org


Transportation Information 

If a student lives in a regular ed busing area for an individual school, parents should go to the front office of the school to get a bus ticket. Bus tickets are issued at each individual school and the school will also have maps of the bus routes and a list of available bus stops with pickup and drop off times. In general a student must live 3 or more miles from the school in order to qualify for school bus transportation, but there are some exceptions for K-8. If you have questions, please contact the school or the Transportation Department at 281-5581.

Sondra Baker – Transportation Director                                          281-5581
Martha Tanner – Transportation Asst. - Special Education             281-5580
First Student Transportation - School Bus Contractor                     248-3667
 


 

Resources

FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay to have my child ride the school bus?

Yes, as long as there is room on the bus and the $75.00 per semester fee is paid.  However, the student must still walk to an established bus stop within the busing area.  Bus stops will not be established outside of the busing area nor will the bus be rerouted within the busing area.

What is the transportation fee?

The cost is $75.00 per semester per student, regardless of how much or how little the student actually rides the school bus.  If the student qualifies for reduced lunches, then busing would be half price.  If the student qualifies for free lunches, then the busing would be free.  If the student only needs 1-way transportation, then the cost would be half price.
 

Can my child have more than one (1) bus stop in order to get to work, dance, or other activities?

No**.  The student is allowed one (1) AM bus stop and one (1) PM bus stop.  The AM bus stop can be different from the PM bus stop, but the student must get on at the same bus stop each morning and get off at the same bus stop each afternoon.  School bus transportation is established to transport a student from home to school and school to home.  Any other transportation needs would be the responsibility of the student and his/her parent or guardian.
 ***The one exception would be if parents have joint custody of a child and both parents lived in the established busing area.

Can my child ride home with a friend on the school bus?

No. The School District does not accommodate guest riders.  If your child does not ride the school bus, then s/he would not be allowed to ride home with a friend on the school bus.  If your child does ride the school bus and needs to ride another bus home with a friend, the parent/guardian must make the request to the Transportation Director three (3) days in advance of the date.  Same day requests will NOT be granted.  All requests should be for emergency situations only (such as parents being out-of-town and the student is staying with a friend).  Non-emergency transportation is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Who do I contact if the school bus is late or does not show?

All questions regarding school bus drivers or school buses need to be directed to our school bus contractor, First Student Transportation at 248-3667.  First Student is responsible for hiring, training and supervising all school bus drivers and ensuring that bus schedules are run as the school district has designated.

The school bus came by the bus stop 2 minutes early this morning and my child missed the bus. Who do I call?

Please direct all questions regarding school bus drivers and school buses to our school bus contractor, First Student Transportation at 248-3667.  However, please be advised that ALL students are required to be at their bus stop five (5) minutes before the required pickup time.  If no one is at the bus stop, the school bus is not required to stop.

Can I get the bus stop changed to pick-up in front of my house?

No. The number of bus stops in a given area will be limited and students are required to walk to the established area bus stop.  The only exception would be if there is only one (1) student needing transportation from a given area and the school bus is driving past that student’s home anyway.

The bus driver has given my child a discipline slip for not behaving on the school bus. Who can I talk to about this situation?

If you need information about what actually happened on the school bus or you have questions about the bus driver’s actions, please direct all of your questions about school bus drivers to our school bus contractor, First Student Transportation at 248-3667.  All other questions can be directed to the Transportation Director, Sondra Baker, at 281-5581.

I have questions about special education transportation, who do I contact?

Special education transportation is determined by the special education department and the individual school.  If your child qualifies for special education transportation and you have questions, please contact Martha Tanner at 281-5580.

Severe Weather Transportation

During the winter storm season, people often wonder about delays or why buses run late.  The Billings Schools’ 16,000+ students live within a large area where road conditions often vary widely during severe weather conditions.  We consider road conditions and all other information available when deciding whether to operate on normal bus stops or alternative ones.  

Below please find a list of areas that are commonly checked during severe weather conditions.  Past experience has confirmed that these areas are places where school buses have a higher probability of getting stuck in the snow, so alternate bus stops have been established for these areas.  More alternate bus stops could be added depending upon severe weather conditions, and the ability of school buses to maneuver safely through neighborhoods and subdivisions.


Commonly Checked Locations During Severe Weather Conditions

  • Rehberg Ranch – All bus stops in Rehberg Ranch would be moved to the following alternate bus stop:  Rifle Creek Trail @ Iron Horse Trail
  • Yellowstone Country Club/Augusta Ranch – All bus stops in Yellowstone Country Club and Augusta Ranch (including Sam Snead Trail) would have the option of the following 2 alternate bus stops:

          54th St. W. @ Rimrock Road, or
          Molt Road @ Masters Blvd.

  • Hidden Lake Subdivision, including Lorraine St. and all side streets that feed into Lorraine St., would have the following alternate bus stop:  Hwy 87 N. @ Lorraine St.
  • Becraft Lane/Noblewood Dr. (Lockwood) – All bus stops located south of Old Hardin Road between Becraft Lane and Noblewood Drive would have the following alternate bus stop:  Becraft Lane @ Enfield Dr.


Alternate bus stops would not necessarily be limited to the above areas.  Other areas could be included, depending upon weather conditions.  Parents will be notified of alternate bus stops via media, school district website and automated phone calls no later than 6 a.m. on that day.


If the buses are using alternative bus stops, or if delays take place, we attempt to inform families and staff through a variety of ways.  Communication with our Billings Public Schools’ families is paramount to our students’ and staff’s safety.  Below is a brief list of resources parents may use to learn about alternative bus stops and other effects of adverse weather conditions.

  • SchoolConnect System - automated telephone notification system notifies parents within 45 minutes of being launched.  Parents need to be sure that all phone numbers are updated with their children’s schools.
  • SD2 Emergency Information Line - Call 406-281-5193 for updates on severe weather conditions and emergencies.
  • Stay connected with local TV, radio stations and the Billings Gazette.
  • Check this website often for updates as well.