St Mary's County Public School Bus Stop Change Request Form
The Department of Transportation receives numerous requests for new bus stops and changes to existing bus routes throughout the school year. Prior to submitting this form, please take some time to review the following excerpts from St. Mary's County Board of Education Policy. These policies are the foundation by which the Department of Transportation makes decisions regarding bus stops and bus routes.
At the beginning of the school year this department receives an overwhelming amount of requests. Please be patient and we will give fair consideration to each form submitted.
Excerpt from St. Mary's County Board of Education Policy, EEA
Student transportation is a privilege and shall be provided for eligible students from established school vehicle stops to the appropriate school and return from school to the established school vehicle stops. Each school has an exclusively designated attendance district. A student's transportation privilege may be rescinded in accordance with the student code of conduct, federal, state and local laws, or at the discretion of the Superintendent or designee to ensure the safety of transportation services.
1. Students enrolled in public schools in St. Mary's County who live more than one-half mile from school at the elementary level are eligible for transportation. Middle school and high school students residing in excess of one mile from school are eligible for transportation. Middle school and high school students may be required to walk one mile to the designated school bus stop. Elementary school students may be required to walk one-half mile to the designated school bus stop.
2. Distances in all disputed cases involving bus stops shall be measured from the intersection of the student's lane with a county or state maintained roadway to the designated school bus stop. Distances in all disputed cases involving students walking to school shall be measured from the intersection of the student's lane with a county or state maintained roadway to the designated entrance of the school by the most direct traveled route.
3. Parents/legal guardians are responsible for their student(s) while the student(s) is traveling to and from the designated school stop, and while the student(s) is waiting at the bus stop. For students who walk to school, parents/legal guardians are responsible for their student(s) while the student(s) is traveling to and from the designated entrance of the school.
4. It is recommended that parents/legal guardians establish a travel path for their student (s) to and from the designated school bus stop or designated entrance to the school.
Excerpt from St. Mary's County Board of Education Regulation, EEA-R
Eligibility of Students for Transportation
The policy of the Board of Education of St. Mary's County identifies students who are eligible for transportation services, and explains that they must use an established school bus stop. A parent/legal guardian can submit a Bus Stop Change Request form that asks for a new bus stop to be created or for an existing bus stop to be moved. The Department of Transportation will review each request to see if a bus stop change is warranted due to an exceptional condition.
The following items will be reviewed to determine if an exceptional condition exists:
A. Walking Path and Road Configuration
A suitable walkway may be a sidewalk, bike path, dirt/improved walking path, or road shoulder. In neighborhoods and low traffic volume areas, students may be expected to walk along the roadway and should do so as defined in state law.
(Transportation Article §21-506)
Note: In isolation, the lack of lighting or sidewalks shall not be considered reasons or grounds for determining that an exceptional condition exists.
B. Sight Distance
Bus stops will not be placed in a location where a school bus's eight-way loading lights cannot be seen by oncoming traffic or traffic approaching from behind the bus.
C. Distance to Bus Stop or School
Elementary students may walk up to ½ mile to their bus stop or school. Secondary students may walk up to 1 mile to their bus stop or school.
Note: In isolation, situations where a student is out of sight from their house, where the student is coming from a daycare, where a parent/legal guardian has childcare issues, or where there is reported criminal activity (i.e. sex offender), shall not be considered reasons or grounds for determining that an exceptional condition exists.
D. Vehicle Traffic
The speed and volume of vehicle traffic will be taken into consideration.
E. Student information
The grade level and age of the students will be taken into consideration.
Note: In isolation, situations where a student or parent/legal guardian has a medical issue, shall not be considered reasons or grounds for determining that an exceptional condition exists. Students with a 504 plan or Individualized Education Plan may request through their school and the Department of Special Education special needs transportation on a special needs school bus.
F. Volume of Students
Note: In isolation, a situation where there is a dispute between students or families/associates of students shall not be considered reasons or grounds for determining an exceptional condition exists.
The Department of Transportation is dedicated to providing an effective bus service for all eligible students of St. Mary’s County. In planning our multitude of routes, we have many factors that affect the decisions being made. Some of those factors include, but are not limited to, road conditions, line of sight, traffic congestion, equity of service and time availability. Our staff will review each request and issue a response. Please keep in mind that this does not guarantee a change will be made, but we will do our best to provide an adequate explanation. Please Note: On average, it takes approximately 7 – 10 school days to process a start or change of transportation services.