Transportation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my child eligible to ride a bus?

Yes, if determined eligible by the Transportation Center in accordance with Administrative Policy 751. Eligibility is largely based upon whether or not a student's residence is located within MCPASD school boundaries, is a certain distance from their school of attendance, is in Cross Plains or Middleton; and they attend school where they reside.

In Middleton, transportation is provided for students living 1.1 miles or more from their school of attendance. Students living less than 1.1 miles from their school may ride the bus if the route to school is determined to be hazardous by the Sheriff’s Department, according to State Statute 121.54(9).  All students living outside the village limits are eligible for bus transportation.

In Cross Plains, transportation is provided for students living over 0.5 miles from their school of attendance in Cross Plains. Students living less than or equal to 0.5 miles from their school may ride the bus if the route to school is determined to be hazardous by the Sheriff’s Department, according to State Statute 121.54(9). 

Where can I find my child's transportation plan?

In Parent Portal (aka Campus Portal). Click on More in the left navigation pane to find a link to Transportation where you'll see your student's current transportation plan: route #, stop times, and stop locations. See In Bus and Out Bus Stop fields to determine if your student is not receiving transportation because they live within a walk zone (categorized Walker) or are being transported by parents (categorized Parent Transport).

When/How is transportation assigned?

Bus transportation must be newly requested and confirmed by Transportation every school year. Near the end of each school year you'll receive a survey asking for your transportation needs the following year.

Route assignments are based on addresses in Campus Portal. Please verify your address is current. If your address changes at any time contact Registration who will update Campus Portal. After you verify it's updated, submit a Transportation Helpdesk Request to change your student's transportation plan due to a change of address updated in Campus Portal. Until a new or revised transportation plan is created parents need to transport their student(s) to school.

Throughout the summer until the day before school starts, transportation needs are requested from families via a survey(s), transportation plans are assigned, and updates are made to incorporate changes. It's very important that every communication received is read and replied to by deadlines provided unless instructed otherwise; please check spam and junk email folders. If someone asks for transportation early in the summer and doesn't reply to subsequent requests, it will be assumed that transportation is no longer needed due to changed circumstances (e.g., a family has moved out of district).

To monitor your student's transportation plan and discover when one has been assigned or changed, check Campus Portal in August, periodically after, and again immediately before school starts. For various reasons, adjustments are often necessary right up to the start of school for some students.

During the school year, significant adjustments to existing transportation plans will be communicated through one or more of the following: vmail, text, and email. To request a new, changed, or cancelled transportation plan you want to submit a Transportation Helpdesk Request.

How are bus stop locations determined?

By considering safety, efficiency, cost, over-all ride times, distance from school, and housing concentration.

For safety, where practical, routes have been designed to eliminate left-turns onto major roads unless there is some type of traffic signal to allow the bus to safely turn.

For efficiency, some bus stops have been consolidated.

Buses are routed on a "first-on, first-off" basis where practical. When not practical, your student may be first on in the morning and last off in the afternoon.

A student's bus number may change from year to year for a number of reasons (e.g., to keep mileage distributed throughout the bus fleet).

Bus stops are located within acceptable walking distance of residences, typically at corners or intersections. See Attendance / Walk Zone Locator. Administrative Policy 751 sets the guidelines.

In rural areas:

  • Students will be transported to and from the nearest point where private driveways intersect with town, county, state or federal roads.

  • Students will be collected at prearranged group stops where dwelling units are clustered.

In urban areas:

  • Students living 1.1 miles from their assigned school will be collected at group bus stops.

When will Transportation consider adjusting bus stop locations?

When a family has a change of address, and when a stop is determined unsafe by Transportation. If determined unsafe adjustments are made to identify a safer alternative.

When routes are being designed, every effort is made to select safe places to load and unload students by factoring in roads, streets, traffic speeds, and locations of residences. Certain intersections cause concern for school buses and the motoring public so related roads and streets will be avoided when possible.

Why can’t the bus stop at my house rather than a group stop?

The District utilizes group stops to accommodate up to 5,000 eligible riders during some school years. Fewer stops and reduced stop frequency shorten ride times and decrease the possibility of an accident due to impatient motorists and bad weather for examples. If you have concerns about your student's safety you are encouraged to accompany your student to the bus stop or arrange a neighborhood buddy to walk with your student. Wisconsin law does not require the District to provide door-to-door school bus service for everyone.

Can my child be dropped off at child care after school?

Yes, under certain conditions. All students, including those who are not usually bused, are eligible for transportation after school if they need to be transported to a child care provider, and meet the following conditions.

  1. As a parent/guardian you fill out an Alternate Transportation Request found under Forms on the Transportation Services home page. Note the amount of process time required. Any District school, the Transportation Center, or the District Services Office can assist.

  2. The route already goes past the child care provider's home or designated bus stop. The bus will not add mileage to its route to go past a child care provider's residence.

  3. Requests received prior to July 15 will be guaranteed a ride provided the above is met.  After July 15, requests will be determined by whether or not there is room on the bus.  If students move into the 1.1 plus mile limit, or there is a shift in pre-scheduled ride patterns during the year, and space is needed, then the last student(s) accepted for alternate transportation will be the first displaced.  “Last in, first out.”

  4. Only a limited number of provider changes will be accepted during the year. A new set of forms is required for each change.

  5. Transportation requests to and from child care providers must be renewed each school year.

Can my child use transportation, get dropped off at a different stop, or use a different bus route than in their approved transportation plan?

No, with rare exception. Transportation doesn't provide bus transportation except for those students with an official transportation plan, and then only according to the routes, times, and stop locations in their plan.

Drivers will not honor notes from parents, teachers, or staff requesting a student to be let off at an unassigned stop or to ride on an unassigned route. They will only grant exceptions communicated to them by Transportation.

If you believe a family situation warrants consideration call Transportation at #829-2365. Exceptions are considered in response to an unavoidable family emergency. Here are two examples. 

  1. Parents were out of town overnight, their care provider came down with the flu and suddenly there wasn't anyone at their home to care for their child; they identified an adult who would provide care at a different location on a suitable bus route. 

  2. A student's only sibling was being prepped for surgery very early the next morning and his only parent had to be at the hospital. He needed to stay at a friend's house overnight with adult supervision where he could catch the bus with his friend the next morning. 

We live on a cul-de-sac.  Will the bus come down our street?

Not usually, with the exception of transporting special education students. Buses routed down cul-de-sacs create risk for small children, increase the potential for property damage caused by a large bus turning around and/or backing up in a small area, and generate delays.

What is the maximum length of time for a bus route?

There is none. We strive to establish route times so that no student will ride the bus for more than one hour one way. We can't guarantee it.  There is no law or policy which limits ride time.