Exceptions to Transportation Eligibility

Under certain circumstances, we grant exceptions to our normal transportation rules.

To apply for an exception, complete one of the forms below and get it signed by your child’s school. In the case of a medical exception, a doctor must also sign the forms.

Please see below for more details about each kind of exception.

Medical Exception

You may apply for a medical exception if a serious medical condition incapacitates your child and his or her physician says that they may attend school with appropriate transportation.

When applying for a medical exception, you should complete the HIPAA Privacy Authorization Release Form and have a doctor complete page two of the medical exception form. Next, bring the forms to your child's school, which will provide more information. Your child’s doctor and the school's principal must sign the form, and then a DOE physician will review the document for approval.

Hazard Exception

If your child is in kindergarten through sixth grade then you may request an exception if there are unsafe conditions along their normal route to school, to a school bus stop, or to a public transit stop.

These conditions usually include unsafe traffic, traffic control conditions, dangerous crossings, or areas impassable to pedestrians. We expect students to walk along established streets and sidewalks available to regular auto or pedestrian traffic, or satisfactory off-road paths in order to reach school.

The following conditions are not valid reasons for a hazard exception and we will deny any application that primarily depends on them:

  • People loitering along the student’s route.
  • General concerns about crime in the area.
  • Unpaved roads or sidewalks.
  • School sessions that require the child to travel in the dark.
  • Abandoned buildings lining a street on the student’s route.
  • Parks with through streets or sidewalks.

When reviewing these requests, we may recommend an alternative walking path that avoids the hazardous conditions. In no case will we recommend a walking path for a student below seventh grade that requires them to walk further than his or her normal eligibility distance.

Temporary Housing Exception

Per the McKinney-Vento Regulations, whenever authorities place a student in temporary housing or a domestic violence shelter, personnel at the location should initiate a request for emergency transportation.

Shelter exception request forms should be available at all city-funded temporary housing and domestic violence shelters and trained personnel should be available in these facilities to assist you in completing them. If shelter personnel are not available, you should contact the Content Expert for the Office of Students in Temporary Housing for assistance.

Students in grades K-12 in temporary housing (homeless shelters, hotels, etc.) are exempt from age and distance requirements for travel for as long as they live there. All subsequent requests for the student’s transportation must follow normal procedures.

Emergency Exception

You may request an exception in an emergency or other circumstance not discussed above. Some examples of these conditions include:

  • The student has been the victim of a crime that may put them in danger travelling to school on public transportation.
  • A court has issued an order of protection.
  • The parents/guardians live in different locations and have joint custody of the student.
  • An emergency has displaced a family from their home due to some emergency and are not residing in a shelter.
  • The student is in foster care or is awaiting foster care placement.
  • The student was in temporary housing and has now moved to permanent housing.

Request a Distance Evaluation

The DOE determines your child's eligibility to receive transportation using two factors:

  1. Your child's grade level.
  2. The distance between your child's residence and school.

You may submit a request if you believe there was an error in calculating your child's distance from school.

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