Pupil Transportation

Winter Weather Information

bus stop signDuring inclement weather months, OPT would like to ensure students are embarking and disembarking the bus in a safe place. Schools, bus students and parents are reminded that extra caution should be taken during this time of year.

Please take a moment and review this important information:
  • Dress appropriately for the colder weather. Unexpected mechanical problems with the bus may occur more frequently at this time of year. Students should wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing when waiting at the stop.

  • For some students, especially those who are medically fragile, extreme weather conditions may be health threatening. A parent/guardian should therefore keep this in mind as they make the decision as to whether or not a child should ride the school bus when low temperatures are prevalent.

  • Usually cold, icy, or stormy weather can result in bus schedules being unavoidably delayed. We encourage parents to use extra caution with children on those days. Children should be accompanied to the bus stop or have very clear instructions on what to do if the bus does not arrive. Never leave children at the stop with no backup arrangements for an emergency.

  • A build-up of ice and snow can create a safety hazard for children waiting at the bus stop. Emphasize the importance of standing back from the curb as the bus approaches the stop.

  • Snow drifts or ice frequently make it impractical to put the bus lift down in front of the child’s residence. The bus crew must ensure that the student is completely on clear-and-dry pavement, where possible. Parents/guardians should discuss with the bus crew the best place to pick up and drop off a student who uses a wheelchair or an ambulatory aid.

  • We recommend students using the steps of the bus to hold onto handrails to embark and disembark the bus in an orderly fashion. No running, jumping, pushing or shoving.

  • Never exit the bus into a snow bank. If the bus stops and the child is unable to get out due to the exit being blocked by snow, tell the driver that the path is not clear.

  • Do not walk/play on snow mounds or ice near roadways; you could fall and slip into the roadway and be at risk of being struck by a vehicle.

The Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) is the largest school transportation department in the country. Over 600,000 New York City students attending both public and non-public schools located within the five boroughs and neighboring counties in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut use these services. OPT also provides bus service for more than 160,000 field trips every year.

Our Vision
Our vision is to be the best, brightest and most efficient transportation department in the country; dedicated to our students, focused on education and proud of our employees.  

Our Mission
The mission of the Office of Pupil Transportation is to ensure that all eligible New York City students receive safe, clean and timely transportation to and from school.

Getting Information From Us
OPT Customer Service Agents are available Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at (718) 392-8855 and PupilTransportationTeam@schools.nyc.gov to answer questions, take service complaints, and provide information for parents and schools. Staff is always available at OPT until bus companies report that all bus routes have been completed and children have arrived safely at home. OPT Customer Service Agents are also available on weekends during peak periods of the year to assist parents and schools with information concerning school opening in September and summer transportation in late June.

When you call OPT, customer service agents will ask you questions in order to direct your inquiry to the proper department. Each caller receives a reference number for follow up in case he or she needs additional information or assistance.

Let Us Know How to Reach You
OPT needs to have accurate address and contact information for each child we serve to provide the best service and information to parents regarding their child’s transportation needs. We rely on this information to contact parents in the event of emergencies or other situations, as well as for mailings and other critical communication.

Within the City's Department of Education, all address changes are made at the school level. Parents should contact their child’s school to update address and emergency contact information.

Walking to School
While the Office of Pupil Transportation is charged with providing transportation by yellow bus and public transit for all students in New York City, we support the City’s initiative to have as many children walk to school as possible. We believe that walking to school can be a healthy way to begin and end your child’s day at school. The New York City Department of Transportation has resources available at Walk To School to help parents and schools promote walking.

Pollution Reduction
OPT is committed to improving the quality of air and life for all residents of NYC, particularly school-aged children. Every one of the diesel-powered general education buses (2,306 vehicles) under contract to OPT are equipped with emission reduction technology and installation has begun on special education buses.

In September 2007, legislation was enacted that will reduce air pollution from idling school buses. The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to issue regulations requiring school districts to minimize the idling of school buses while parked on school grounds or in front of schools.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus USA program has partnered with Scholastic Books to write, illustrate, and publish “The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up” to increase awareness of the importance of reducing diesel emissions. The special-edition book is intended for children from kindergarten through fourth grade and is available free to individuals, schools and libraries. Visit Clean School Bus USA to order copies of the book and for more information about the program.