BUSING BLOG FOUR – HOW TO FIND YOUR BUS ROUTE AND WHAT TO EXPECT
If your child is known to the DOE and has a nine digit NYC ID number, here is how you will know if your child has been assigned a route. At the end of August, you can check the OPT website: found here. Scroll down on the homepage and you will see “Find Your Child’s Bus Route.” You will need your child’s NYC ID and birth date to search for their route. You will also receive a letter from OPT at the end of August with your child’s bus route, the route’s start time, your child’s pick-up and drop-off number (meaning how many kids will be picked up before your child and how many will be dropped off before him/her), and the name and phone number of the bus company responsible for your child’s route. This is useful information because it will give you a sense of how many kids are on the route, an idea of how long your child will be on the bus and contact information for the bus company that will be transporting your child.
A word of caution here: The routes are always a mess at the start of the school year! Be prepared for that. Try not to panic when you see that the route starts at 6:15 or 6:30 in the morning. In many cases, once the route starts and the driver gets a hang of it, the pick-up time will shift later. You can call the bus company (the phone number will be on the letter from OPT) to find out what time your child should be ready to be picked up on the first day. Many parents choose not to put their child on the bus for the first few days until the driver becomes familiar with the route. You can also check OPT’s website to see whether your child has been assigned to a route.
Once your child has been assigned a route, the aggravation doesn’t necessarily end. Drivers and matrons vary but, for the most part, they care about the kids and take their jobs very seriously. It is in your best interest to establish a good relationship with your driver and matron. They will be very important people in your lives! Most of them will give you their cell phones numbers so that you can be in direct contact if you know your child won’t be riding the bus one day or if they know that they will be running late. When you do run into a problem, contact OPT to file a complaint (718-392-8855) and make sure your child’s school does the same thing. For example, if the kids are consistently getting to school late.
For the most part, once the routes get set after the first few weeks of school, most kids really enjoy their ride to school and meet kids from other grades that they may not know otherwise. So hang in there!