Exceptions to Transportation Eligibility

Some families and students experiencing difficult circumstances may qualify for an exception to our normal transportation rules.

Note that no exception will be granted because a family disagrees with grade and distance eligibility.

To apply for an exception:

  1. Speak to your school about your child’s situation
  2. Review the information on this page
  3. If after steps 1 and 2, you believe your child may qualify, the request form submitted varies by type of exception:
    • If the student requires an exception due to a hazard, medical condition, order of protection, victim of a crime or joint custody, or if the student is in temporary housing (STH) including children living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters, children residing with other families due to financial or economic hardship (doubled-up), and children transitioning to permanent housing, fill out the Transportation Exception Form (you can set the browser to translate the form into your preferred language) or
    • IF you cannot use the online forms above, you can fill out the PDF form below and submit it to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov. Emailing a PDF may result in slower processing time.

In the case of a medical exception, you will also need to complete the HIPAA Privacy Authorization Release Form and have your child’s doctor complete the Medical Evaluation Request Form.

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

Medical Exception

If your child has a short or long term medical condition that prevents them from taking public transportation or requires a specialized vehicle for transportation and your child does not have an IEP, please apply for a 504 accommodations plan to ensure there is complete and continuous service to support your child. Please visit the 504 Accommodations webpage for more information. Note that transportation accommodations will sent to the Office of School Health to review and make a recommendation. 

Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) can request transportation be added to their IEP. Certain accommodations may be subject to review and recommendation by the Office of School Health. Public school families should speak to their school based IEP team, non-public and charter school families should contact their CSE. 

Temporary Housing Exception

Students in temporary housing (STH) include children living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters, children residing with other families due to financial or economic hardship (doubled-up), and children transitioning to permanent housing. See Chancellor’s Regulation A-780 for the full definition and entitlements.

Students in temporary housing are entitled to transportation. Transportation can be provided via MetroCard or bus, depending on availability and the child’s grade.

The DOE and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) work together to automatically provide transportation to children residing in DHS shelters. For all other children, including those residing in domestic violence shelters, transportation can be requested as follows:

Families can submit these requests directly, or they can work with shelter staff, DOE shelter staff, or school staff to submit.

For children residing in domestic violence shelters, the DOE is committed to preserving confidentiality of the child’s location, and works closely with domestic violence shelter staff to ensure children are provided a convenient method of transportation without revealing their address.

Foster Care Exception

Children in foster care are eligible for transportation. Transportation can be provided via MetroCard or bus, depending on the availability and the child’s grade.

Parents, foster parents, and/or foster care agencies should

If you cannot use the online form above, you can fill out the PDF form below and submit it to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov. Emailing a PDF may result in slower processing time.

You can also submit to your school, which will scan and submit to the form for you. 

Joint Custody Exception

Children whose parents/guardians no longer reside in the same home may be eligible for a joint custody arrangement, if:

  • The child already receives curb-to-school or specialized transportation as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Accommodations Plan, or approved medical exception;
  • The child already receives stop-to-school transportation based on grade and distance eligibility; and
    • Both of the two addresses qualify based on grade and distance eligibility. Note that children for whom one of the two addresses qualifies, the child will only be eligible for busing to the address that qualifies, not to both.

To apply for this type of exception:

  • BOTH parents/guardians must sign the application
  • The requested calendar MUST be filled out entirely for a two-week cycle
  • Legal documentation of custody arrangement – acceptable documents are listed below:
    • Joint custody agreement
    • Court order that details the joint custody agreement
    • Divorce decree that details the joint custody agreement
    • Separation agreement that details the joint custody arrangement
  • Fill out the Transportation Exception Form (you can set the browser to translate the form into your preferred language) or

If you cannot use the online form above, you can fill out the PDF form below and submit it to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov. Emailing a PDF may result in slower processing time. You can also submit to your school, which will scan and submit to the form for you.

Victim of a Crime Exception

If your child has been a victim of a crime either outside of their school or on the way to or from school, they may be eligible for an exception.

To apply for this type of exception, submit:

  • One of the following:
    • Police report
    • School incident report number
    • Written statement by the child
  • Fill out the Transportation Exception Form (you can set the browser to translate the form into your preferred language) or

If you cannot use the online form above, you can fill out the PDF form below and submit it to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov. Emailing a PDF may result in slower processing time. You can also submit to your school, which will scan and submit to the form for you.

Order of Protection Exception

If your child has an Order of Protection against another child or an adult, this must be immediately reported to your school. Your school must input this information into DOE systems with no delay to ensure your child’s safety.

After you have completed this necessary step, you can apply for an exception. Submit:

If you cannot use the online form above, you can fill out the PDF form below and submit it to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov. Emailing a PDF may result in slower processing time. You can also submit to your school, which will scan and submit to the form for you.

Hazard Exception

Children are expected to walk the shortest route and along established streets and sidewalks available to regular auto or pedestrian traffic, or satisfactory off-road paths in order to reach school.

Please note: The following are NOT considered hazards or obstructions, and requests based on these will not be approved:

  • People loitering along the walkway
  • General concerns about crime in the neighborhood
  • Unpaved roads or sidewalks
  • Traveling in the dark
  • Abandoned buildings lining a street along the walkway

If your child is in kindergarten through sixth grade AND one of the following conditions are present along the walkway to school, to a school bus stop, or to a public transit stop, then you may request an exception:

  • Narrow bridges or underpass
  • Railroad crossing
  • No sidewalk
  • Busy street but no stop sign, traffic light, and/or pedestrian crossing
  • Barrier that requires re-routing to a longer walkway

When reviewing these requests, we may recommend an alternative walking path that avoids the hazardous conditions in accordance with the child’s allowable distance and grade eligibility.

To request an exception:

If you cannot use the online form above, you can fill out the PDF form below and submit it to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov. Emailing a PDF may result in slower processing time. You can also submit to your school, which will scan and submit to the form for you.

Exceptions Request Form