Pupil Transportation Services would like to welcome new and returning families to the 2023-2024 school year!
To ensure that all families are prepared for a successful start to their child's transportation services, we would like to provide some important information:
- Postcards will be sent with your child's busing information the week PRIOR to school starting. This ensures that the busing information that is provided is as accurate as possible.
- Prior to the start of school, contractors for MPS start assigning routes to drivers who then begin performing dry runs in preparation for the first day.
- Contractors practice and update their routes the week prior to EARLY & TRADITIONAL school starting, to familiarize themselves with their runs and to ensure they have the most up to date information for your family.
For the first few days of service, please be aware that drivers will be presented with significant challenges as they:
- Navigate new traffic patterns and increases in traffic volume
- Start to identify and familiarize themselves with new students
- Collaborate with school staff on arrivals and dismissals
- Readjust their routes and their times due to requested route changes completed by schools on a family’s behalf
These challenges will lead to delays so we thank you for your patience. Rest assured, these delays will be short lived and families should be confident that their busing will stabilize quickly once these factors are addressed.
FOR EARLY START SCHOOLS beginning August 14, 2023.
- Information provided to contractors will be updated on Thursday August 10, 2023.
- Any necessary changes after August 10th for students beginning August 14th, should be directed to your child's school. They will update your household information and facilitate busing changes needed on your behalf.
- Pupil Transportation Services will also modify busing when service-related issues are identified. We will also electronically communicate these changes to ensure families are aware.
FOR TRADITIONAL START SCHOOLS beginning on September 5, 2023.
- Pupil Transportation Services automatically routes all eligible students. There is no need to request services. The district assumes all eligible students will need busing and schedules them for Day 1.
- If you have moved you MUST report your address change either to your child's school or to the DEPARTMENT OF STUDENT SERVICES. Pupil Transportation Services does not have the authority to change household addresses for your family.
Transportation changes that are requested by schools for families take effect on TUESDAYS and FRIDAYS weekly. Your school will notify you when those changes are completed with the specific busing information.
Schools may be contacted to obtain your child's route information.
Finally, please BE READY at your stop location 10 minutes prior to your child's pickup time and remain at the stop 10 minutes after your scheduled pickup time.
It is recommended that you call the bus company directly if there is a problem or delay. They will dispatch the driver directly and provide the most accurate information related to the situation. If there are challenges reaching a contractor for ANY REASON, please contact your child's school for assistance. Bus company contact information has been provided on this page.
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.
- 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 7:00 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.
MPS HIGH SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION - STUDENTS GREATER THAN 7 MILES
MPS High Schools students who reside over 7 miles from their current school of attendance, will be issued weekly a WisGo card for use on Milwaukee County Transit System.
WisGo card 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