MPS HIGH SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION UPDATE FOR FY21 - STUDENTS GREATER THAN 7 MILES
At its September 26, 2019 meeting, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors approved the Administration’s recommendation to modify the transportation offerings of eligible MPS High Schools students who reside over 7 miles from their current school of attendance, from yellow school buses to weekly Mcards for use on Milwaukee County Transit System.
This change went into effect beginning in August of 2020. Notifications were sent to impacted families.
If you were eligible for transportation services to your enrolled high school, you will now receive a MCTS bus pass paid for by the district.
Due to the high per pupil cost of providing yellow bus services to schools that enroll a smaller percentage of families; this transportation modification was created as an opportunity for cost savings. This was also a prerequisite for effective re-tiering of yellow bus transportation that was approved in the summer of 2020 as part of a larger transportation restructure alternative that maximized bus utilization efficiency and significantly reduces transportation expenditures.
Mcard distribution to schools will be facilitated the week prior to student attendance. Pupil Transportation Services will be available to assist with any questions your family may have. We can be reached at 414-475-8922.
MCTS also provides information on their website that detail the route paths and time for families using MCTS buses. The link to the MCTS Trip Planner is https://www.ridemcts.com/trip-planner
The Department of Business and Transportation Services provides safe, reliable, responsive and efficient transportation services, with students as our central focus. The department's buses travel more than 15 million miles annually. In fulfilling its mission, the department:
- Provides home-to-school and school-to-home transportation services for approximately 51,000 students every school day.
- Enables students to attend their school of choice, as well as participate in all school activities and programs.
- Offers a flexible transportation system that accommodates varied needs, all within published policies and guidelines.
- Directs more funding to classroom education by reducing transportation expenses.
The department is responsible for the provision of student transportation and the scheduling of all school, athletic and special-busing programs. It also administers Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) ridership programs.
All routing information originates from Infinite Campus, the Milwaukee Public Schools' (MPS) student-information system. Please contact your student's school if your family is moving, is changing child-care providers or if you would like to request a different bus stop. It is the school's responsibility to verify all requests.
The department is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m Monday through Friday during the regular school year. The phone number is 414-475-8922.
Eligibility for transportation services is governed by MPS Board of School Directors Administrative Policy 4.04. Eligibility is dependent upon the school a student attends and the student's home address. The following criteria are used to determine transportation eligibility:
- A student in grades K-5 must reside one or more miles from their assigned school, outside of the school's designated attendance area and within the school’s transportation region.
- Students in grades 6-12 must reside two or more miles from their assigned school, outside of the school's attendance area and within the school’s transportation region.
MPS charter schools set their own transportation rules. Please contact your student's charter school directly for details. Transportation region sizes differ based on the school type and programs within that school.
Most schools designate “walk zones,” which typically fall within one or two miles from the school site, depending on grades offered by the school. Students living inside a school’s walk zone cannot receive transportation.
If you move outside of your elementary or middle school transportation region, your child may be provided transportation. If there is no existing bus stop, you must either provide transportation or change your child’s school. You will be asked to select a new school for your child for the following year or to sign a contract that says you will provide transportation.
Students in grades K3–5 are expected to walk up to 1/4 mile to a safe corner stop. Students in grades 6-12 are expected to walk up to 1/2 mile to a safe corner stop.
Special Education/Access for Persons with Disabilities
Transportation for students with special education needs is provided based upon the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). All district schools serve children with special needs; however, not all services are available at all schools. Parents are advised to work closely with their child’s IEP team to determine which schools are best equipped to meet the needs of the child. Children with disabilities must follow the same rules for transportation as other children, unless the IEP identifies a specialized transportation need or modification. Parents of children with limited mobility should discuss the accessibility needs of the child with the principal/building administrator of the school they wish the child to attend. Children with special needs are also eligible for the Chapter 220 Voluntary Student Transfer Program and for Public School Open Enrollment program.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines the homeless as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This definition includes children and youth whose family has lost housing due to economic difficulties and is sharing the housing of others; who are living in motels, hotels, transitional or emergency shelters; or, whose nighttime residence is a place not normally used for housing. Unaccompanied youth and migratory children, who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above, have the same rights.
Homeless children have many rights and are eligible for many services under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. For example, homeless children and youth have the right to stay in the school they attended prior to becoming homeless (the school of origin); transportation from their temporary residence to the school may be provided; Call (414) 475-8911 for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions