• Frequently Asked Questions

    How are bus stops and routes determined?

    Every FCS student, who is eligible for transportation, is assigned a specific bus stop and route number. The Transportation Department uses bus routing software to determine student location and bus stops. The software considers bus seating capacity, student data, and safety variables to create safe and efficient bus routes. We strive to place bus stops no more than 1/4 mile from each rider's home, although the distance to most stops is far less. Bus stops are located close to street corners and/or every 600 feet. Even though we may pass your house during the route, we cannot stop at your house.

    Why does our bus stop change from year to year?

    Each year students move in and out of subdivisions, and students advance in grade levels. Therefore, stops change to accommodate all students in the area. The routing software calculates all students in the area and the walk distances to each stop—then determines the safest location for all students.

    The bus passes by my house on the way to a stop up the street. Why doesn't it stop and pick up my child at home?

    We transport hundreds of students every day, so it is impossible to provide door-to-door service to all and do it in a timely manner. It is more efficient to pick up several students in one-stop, usually at a corner or other mid-way point for the students.

    Our subdivision does not have sidewalks and is poorly lit. How can I get the stop moved closer to our home?

    Most of the sub-divisions in our district do not have sidewalks, and the lighting is poor in many areas. With our routing software and our knowledge of the areas we service, we try to place our bus stops at the safest location possible. However, it is very important to remember that it is the parent's responsibility for the safety of the child to and from the bus stop.

    Why does my child have to sit in an assigned seat?

    There are several reasons for this, safety being the first and most important. An assigned seat on the bus helps the driver know who is on the bus. It also eliminates the child trying to find a seat at the stop, thus allowing other students the ability to deny a seat to your child. Assigned seats also help with deterring acts of vandalism on the bus.

    Things are happening on the bus that the driver doesn't do anything about—why?

    The driver's first and foremost responsibility is to drive the bus safely. With eyes focused on the road, a driver may miss something that happened on the bus. If there is a concern, please contact the principal of your school or call the Transportation Department to assist. Most often, the driver is not aware there is a problem. However, each driver is happy to assist and make every child's bus ride a safe and enjoyable experience.

    My child is being threatened by another student on the bus. What should I do?

    All school bus discipline problems should be immediately reported to the principal of your child's school. Students who continue to cause problems can be removed from the bus for a period of one to ten days, or permanently, depending on the nature of the disciplinary problems.

    My child was running towards the bus, and the driver looked at him/her then drove off. Why?

    While it could appear that this happened, a driver would never intentionally leave a child. Drivers must check all the mirrors on the bus before moving. By looking at the mirrors, it may seem as though the driver looked at the child, however, the driver may not have seen the child. The best way to ensure your child does not miss the bus is to be at the stop 5 minutes before the scheduled stop.

    We were late this morning, and my child went running after the bus, but the driver never stopped.

    Please refrain from allowing your child to run after a moving bus. This is dangerous. If your child misses the bus, please call our office promptly, and we may be able to have the bus come back around.

    How many people can ride the bus?

    There is no specific number. Under Indiana law, the maximum number of students that can be transported in a school bus corresponds to the seating capacity designated by the manufacturer of the bus. Thus, a 72-passenger bus can carry 72 students, regardless of their age or size. Federal regulations govern how manufacturers determine seating capacity, using a 15-inch block for each designated seating position and rounding up to the nearest whole number. Most school bus seats are 39 inches wide; dividing 39 by 15 produces 2.6, which rounds up to three seating positions per seat.
    We understand that the formula may not be appropriate for all students. While state law does not limit the number of students per seat, it does require that aisles and exits be free of obstruction. This means that students cannot be hanging off the seats into the aisles, and their belongings cannot block emergency exits. A further consideration is that the passive restraint system called compartmentalization works only for students who are completely contained within the seating system; a student who is partially off the seat is not fully protected. Therefore, the number of students that can safely sit on a school bus seat is the number that fits entirely on the seat.

    Don't see your question here? Please reach out to the Transportation Department at 317-346-8770 or at transportation@franklinschools.org