Frequently Asked Questions About Pupil Transportation

Q. Where is the Transportation Department Located?

A. The physical address is 215 Mata Way, Building 6, San Marcos, CA 92069.  We are behind the San Marcos Sheriff Station. 

Q. My child missed the bus.  Can I follow the bus in my car and allow my child to board the bus at another stop?
A. If your child misses the buses, for safety reasons, do not attempt to chase, pass, or block the bus along its route.  Any action taken to impede or delay the progress of an official school bus is unlawful.

Q. My son/daughter was just going out our front door this morning and the bus driver did not wait.
A. Due to very tight time schedules and extreme traffic conditions, our drivers are trained in accordance with California Vehicle Code 22112 which states that the school bus driver shall activate the amber warning light system on approach to the school bus stop and immediately activate the flashing red light signal system and stop signal arm for the purpose of loading or unloading pupils.  Therefore, when the bus is outside of your home or at the designated bus stop, the bus is has stopped traffic.  If the bus driver can not see your child coming to the bus, they will assume they are not riding and continue along the scheduled route.  Please have your child out at the bus stop 5 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Q. Why doesn’t the Transportation Office call me when the bus is delayed in the AM or PM?  Is there a place I can call for information about a bus delay?
A. School buses, like any form of mass transportation, are significantly affected by many uncontrollable factors.  These factors may include weather, road repair/closure, traffic, etc.  When a bus is running late, the students are instructed to wait at the bus stop, and not to go back home unless the bus is fifteen minutes late or more.  If the bus is late and the student rides it to school, he/she will not be counted tardy.  The Transportation Department strives to keep all our buses running as close to your student's departure times as possible.  We do ask that the students arrive at least five minutes early to the stop location.  While we would like to notify parents of late buses, we simply do not have the resources to do so.  We do notify the school as soon as we confirm late buses.  If you feel the bus is running late, please contact the Transportation Department at (760) 290-2670. 

Q. Who can authorize a bus stop change?
A. Bus Stops are assigned (and rarely changed) by the Director of Transportation.  Laws and Safety determine the bus stop assignments.  Bus drivers cannot add or change the bus stops.

Q. If the bus has video cameras, can parents see the footage?
A. Due to student’s confidentiality issues, parents may not view any bus video.  San Marcos Unified School District Administration and Law Enforcement personnel are permitted to view bus video footage.   

Q. Why are there “Bus Aides” on some buses?
A. Frequently, another adult is assigned to ride on a bus to meet the needs of specific students.  The assignment of a bus aide is made through the IEP process.  These adults can include health aides, nurses, behavior intervention specialists or technicians, and instructional or school aides.

Q. My child is in a wheelchair and the brakes on the chair are not working.  Can he/she be transported?
A. No.  Broken or otherwise non-operable wheelchairs or other specialty devices cannot be safely transported.  All student support equipment must be fully operational at the time of bus boarding.

Q. Can the bus drop off my child at a daycare provider or relatives house?
A. Yes.  It is not uncommon for students to have picked up or drop-off address’s different from their home address, these locations must remain consistent to limit bus route schedule changes.  These alternative locations must reside inside of the SMUSD boundaries. 

Q. My child "must be met" in the afternoon, but I missed the bus.  Will the bus bring my student back to my drop off location at the end of the route?
A. No.  If a responsible designated person has not met the bus, the student will be considered undeliverable and will be taken to a designated receiving location or released to the custody of the local police agency. The parent will then be notified where the child has been delivered. The second such occurrence will be considered sufficient cause to review transportation services. If your student is capable of taking care of him/herself and may be left on his/her own upon return home, please check the appropriate location on the transportation form.

Q. What time will my child get home in the afternoon?
A. Parents must be available to receive their student when school is dismissed.  Do not rely on a regularly scheduled arrival time since the absence of a few students on the bus may cause the driver to arrive at your home much earlier than anticipated. If you wish to designate some other responsible person to receive your child on a regular basis, this must be done in writing on the application form for transportation.

Q. My family has been gone on vacation, what do I need to do?
A. If your child does not ride the bus two days in succession, the driver will not return until you notify the Transportation Department that your child is ready to return to school.  You can call (760) 290-2670 to reinstate Transportation Services.