Young girl on the bus

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q:  My child has never ridden the school bus?  How do I request transportation?

    A:  In order to request bus transportation, parents should complete the online Transportation Preference Form.  Once completed, this information is sent directly to the Data Manager at your child's school for processing.  Once processed at the school level, your transportation preferences are automatically forwarded to the Transportation Department.  

    Q:  Is it true I no longer have to complete the online Transportation Preference Form at the start of the new school year?

    A:   If your student rode the bus last school year as an eligible student and the student will remain at the same school and continue to utilize the same morning and afternoon bus stops on the originally approved request for the 2021-2022 school year, a new Transportation Preference Form should not be submitted.  

    Q:  My address has changed, do I need to complete a new online Transportation Preference form?

    A:   Yes.  If your home address has changed and transportation is needed, please complete the online Transportation Preference Form to receive a new bus assignment.  

    Q:  I do not have access to a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  Can I complete a paper copy of the Transportation Preference Form?

    A:  No.  Transportation requests are only accepted online.  If you need assistance completing the online form, please contact your child's school directly.   

    Q:  Last year my student received transportation to a different school.  Do I need to complete a new Transportation Preference Form?

    A:  Yes.  If a student is eligible to receive transportation a new Transportation Preference Form is needed to make a new bus assignment.

    Q: My child requires special transportation.  Do I need to complete the online Transportation Preference Form?

    A:  No.  Special transportation is a related service for students who require specialized accommodations and/or equipment to travel to and from school.  Families who qualify for special transportation should contact the EC School Support Coordinator at their school for any transportation requests or changes.     

    Q:  When my transportation is approved, how will I be notified?  

    A:  Once completed, bus assignments are made available through:

    • US Mail - Bus information will be mailed to families who requested transportation on or before July 19th one (1) week prior to the 1st day of school. 
    • Here Comes The Bus (HCTB) - Parent must create an account to sign-up to receive bus assignment information, as well as locate and track the SCHOOL bus.  To sign-up for HTCB, click here.  
    • PowerSchool Parent Portal - Once the student has been assigned to a bus, parents can log in to Powerschool and see bus assignment information.  For more information on how to create an account in the PowerSchool Parent Portal, click here.    
    • Bus Stop Locator - Once the student has been assigned to a bus, parents can access this link to receive the student's current bus information.  Student ID number and last name are required.  

    Q:  What time should my child be at the bus stop?

    A:  Students should be ready and waiting for the bus at least ten (10) minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time.  Actual stop times will vary during the first few weeks of school.  Parents are encouraged to be patient as bus routes settle.  Unexpected traffic congestion could also cause delays.  In the event your child's bus is considerably delayed, please contact the Zone Transportation Office for your child's school.    

    Q: How long is the bus ride?

    A: The ride time for students can vary.  Route length is determined by the bus route, location of the school.  

    Q: My child's bus stop location from last school year has changed.  Why is this?   

    A: To create more efficient bus routes, transportation staff review bus stop locations each year to ensure established stops meet criteria based on NC Public School Law, NC State Board of Education Policy, and GCS Board of Education guidelines.  Factors considered when establishing bus stops include, but are not limited to, age of student(s), number of students assigned to the bus stop, distance from the residence to the bus stop, roadway characteristics, and proximity to other bus stop locations.  The goal of the Transportation Department is to provide consistency in bus stops throughout the District.     

    Q: Why was my child assigned to a First Student bus and not a Guilford County School Bus? 

    A:  All school buses are the same and meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for school buses.  Buses vary in size and have different capacities.  GCS strives to provide safe transportation for all students. 

    Q:  What happens if my child is approved for transportation, receives a bus assignment, and does not ride?

    A:  If an eligible student is assigned to a bus route and does not ride for ten (10) consecutive days, the student will be removed from the bus route.  Once removed, if transportation is needed again, the student must reapply for transportation via the online Transportation Preference Form.  

    Q:  I need multiple pick-up and/or drop-off locations on different days of the week.  Is this possible?

    A:  No, we would not be able to accommodate requests for multiple pick-up and/or drop-off locations.  Students are allowed one (1) AM stop location and/or one (1) PM stop location Monday through Friday.  

    Q:  If I know there is a bus stop with service to the school near my home, can my student start riding the bus while my request is being processed?

    A:  For the safety of each student riding the bus, we do not allow students to ride without a confirmed bus assignment.  The student may begin riding once approved by Transportation.  At the beginning of the school year, due to the number of requests received after the deadline, transportation requests may take up to 10 business days to process.  Requests are processed in the order received.    

    Q:  I submitted an online Transportation Preference Form and my request was denied.  Why are some transportation requests denied?   

    A:  Denial of transportation services is based on eligibility criteria not being met.  In order to qualify for transportation services, the student's home address or alternate pick-up/drop-off address must fall within the transportation boundary for the child's school.  If the address is outside the transportation boundary, transportation services will be denied.     

    Q:  How do bus drivers receive communication on the bus?

    A.  All buses are equipped with two-way radios so the driver can be contacted or call for help. They are also equipped with GPS systems to help the Transportation team, as well as school administrators, track and monitor bus routes.  

    Q:  What if I have additional questions?

    A.  Please email any questions regarding the online Transportation Preference Form to gcs-transportation@gcsnc.com.