Buses and Transportation FAQs for Return to In-Person Learning

Bus Information Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated April 7, 2021

If you have questions or concerns about your child's special education transportation schedule please contact your child's case manager or the transportation department at transportation@sfusd.edu. You can also refer to this Transportation for Special Education FAQ for more information.

How do SFUSD students get to school?

Elementary schools: Over 50% commute by family car, 25% walk, 10% take public transit, and 10% use yellow school buses.
Middle and high schools: Students use public transportation far more frequently than elementary students, with over 50% of high school students taking public transportation.

What kinds of transportation services will SFUSD be providing to support in-person learning, Spring 2021?

Home-to-school yellow bus transportation is being provided to any student returning to in-person learning who has transportation in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Routes and safety guidelines were mailed to elementary families on March 29. We will do the same for secondary students once the students and locations have been confirmed. 

General education transportation services are being offered to 34 elementary schools.   Routes have been updated, placing stops close to public housing and areas of the city where our focal students live. A list of schools, stops, and maps are available at www.sfusd.edu/transportation.

My child rides the school bus. What should I expect for SFUSD transportation?

Bus drop off zones will continue in their standard location because white zones are required for student safety.

Before Riding the School Bus

  • Caregivers will be asked to screen students before leaving for school, and symptomatic students may not ride the school bus. 
  • All students and adults will be asked to wash or sanitize their hands before riding the bus.

Riding the School Bus

  • All passengers will be required to wear a mask or face covering while on the bus unless they are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings, e.g., people with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering. 
  • Drivers will be required to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth at all times when communicating with families and assisting in the loading or unloading of students. Drivers will not be required to wear a face covering while driving if they wear glasses and it interferes with their vision.

Social Distancing Guidelines While Riding the Bus 

  • Students will be asked to maintain at least 6-foot distance from each other while waiting for the bus. 
  • Students will be asked to sit next to the window, with only one rider per row, unless they are family members living in the same household.
  • Drivers will load the bus from the back to the front, and unload front to back making sure that students do not have to walk past each other as they get on and off the bus. 

Ventilation & Bus Cleaning

  • Windows will be open to promote air circulation, as weather and safety permits, and students will be advised to dress accordingly. 
  • Buses will be stocked with disinfectant wipes, disposable gloves, and extra face coverings. 
  • Bus drivers will perform a general walkthrough, disinfecting high touch areas, after each run. 
  • Buses will be cleaned once at the end of the day when passengers are not present with Signet Neutral Disinfectant DS1.

Is there a plan in the works to get students to school with Muni running such reduced service? Entire bus lines are gone.

Since August 2020, Muni has continued to provide frequent service on select routes that serve a number of schools (e.g. 28, 29, 44).

For Fall 2021 service, Muni has started planning for anticipated changes, including rail, which requires several months of preparation.

Muni plans to have a reserve of buses as school trippers that can be deployed as needed during afternoon school commute hours.

SFMTA expects that vehicles will be able to return to full capacity by the start of the next school year, pending the current situation with the pandemic and public health guidelines.

I am interested in organizing a walking school bus. How can I learn more?

Safe Routes to School is working with DPH on walking school bus protocol.

Last year, 800 children depended on recurring walking school buses to get to/from school in neighborhoods like the Tenderloin, Bayview, and Chinatown.

The Safe Routes to School Partnership is continuing to host virtual trainings and districtwide annual events such as Bike and Roll to School week.