School Bus Service

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Harrisonburg City Schools school bus service is provided by the City of Harrisonburg's Public Transportation Department. This service began in 1983 and has provided a quality service at reasonable cost to taxpayers. Presently the department operates approximately 40 school buses and provides transportation for all field trips and athletics.  School bus routing is computerized and monitored regularly to insure safe and efficient transportation. Schools and parents are asked to communicate with the department to provide current information.

Buses are set up to arrive at Thomas Harrison Middle school at approximately 7:20am, Harrisonburg High School at approximately 7:25am, and elementary schools by 8:20am. Some buses have two elementary routes, both morning and afternoon.

The departure time for Thomas Harrison Middle School is approximately 3:00pm, Skyline Middle School at approximately 3:05pm, Harrisonburg High School at approximately 2:26pm, and the elementary schools at approximately 3:25pm.

School buses must comply with state and federal regulations.

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Bus stops are generally assigned to be .25 miles or less apart. Students are asked to congregate in groups, as this reduces route time and lessens traffic interruptions. Stops are set for intersections and locations deemed safe by transportation officials.

Pick up and drop off locations are scheduled using home addresses. Stops can be scheduled using sitters' addresses (in home school boundary only), if prior arrangements have been made. Pick up and drop off locations should be consistent to minimize confusion to students and drivers. In the afternoon stops can be scheduled out of the district, at the the Cecil F. Gilkerson Activity Center and the Boys and Girls Club. 

Elementary and middle school students who are not going to their assigned stop, MUST have a note for the bus driver stating the bus stop where they are to go. This note must be signed and dated by a parent, guardian, or school employee. Notes for elementary school students should be given to the driver by a school employee.

If you need to talk to a driver, please contact the department and the driver will call you. Drivers will be able to give you more attention when they are not on a scheduled route and do not have students on the bus.  Do not board a bus to talk to the driver.

Items left on the bus can be picked up on the bus the following day. Larger items are available to pick up at the transportation dispatch office, located at 475 East Washington Street.

Parents are asked to go over the rules and regulations for riding a school bus. Students need to be aware that they can lose bus privileges. Please feel free to contact the Public Transportation Department if you have problems or concerns. The school bus supervisor or transportation director will try to assist you if possible.

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Safety - Have a Safe Ride!

School Bus drivers have the responsibility for the safety of all students, particularly those assigned to their bus. The driver can only perform this responsibility with your cooperation and courtesy. This message is to provide parents and students with bus safety guidelines. It is our goal to ensure that the health, safety, welfare, and educational opportunity of each transported student is thoroughly protected.

It is our hope that these guidelines will prove to be a useful resource for assuring your child a safe, comfortable and pleasant school bus ride throughout the school year.

School bus safety and discipline:

Each principal is responsible for carrying out a school bus safety program and has jurisdiction over the conduct of students while they are being transported. Students must be aware of the following school bus procedures.

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Meeting the Bus

  • It is the parent's responsibility to get their child to the bus stop by the designated time.
  • Buses are not allowed to wait.
  • Take the safest route to the assigned bus stop.
  • Wait in a safe place off the street.
  • Wear bright clothes in rain, snow, or fog.
  • Stand back from street; give the bus driver room to stop.
  • Do not trespass on private property or litter.
  • Do not play in the street.
  • Do not sit on the curb.
  • Do not wait in the house for your bus. Be at the assigned bus stop.
  • Do not run toward a moving bus as it approaches the bus stop or loading zone at the school.

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Loading the Bus

  • If you must cross the street to board the bus, please cross at least 10 feet in front of the bus, never behind it.
  • When entering the bus, students must enter in an orderly fashion and in accordance with instructions from the bus driver.
  • Younger students should be allowed to enter the bus first.
  • Students should go directly to a seat and remain seated while the bus is in motion.

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Conduct on the Bus

  • Students should show respect for the bus driver.
  • Students are to remain seated until the bus reaches its destination and comes to a complete stop.
  • Students are to speak in a normal voice and refrain from using unacceptable language.
  • The bus aisle is to be kept clear of feet, arms and other objects.
  • Books, coats and all other objects should be held on students lap.
  • Vandalism to the bus will be paid for by those responsible, and the school boards regulation regarding parent liability will be enforced.
  • Students are to be silent at railroad crossings so the bus driver can hear railroad warning signals.
  • State regulations prohibit smoking on the bus at any time.
  • Students should ride the same bus in the mornings and the afternoons.
  • No change in buses may be made without written request from the parent.
  • Additional bus stop locations cannot be established for special permission transportation.
  • Students should not tamper with the bus or any of its equipment, including emergency equipment.
  • Students should not fight, scuffle, or throw objects inside the bus.
  • Students should not extend arms, legs or heads out of the bus, or throw objects out of the bus windows.
  • Except in an emergency, students should not talk to the bus driver while the bus is in motion.
  • No glass containers, water pistols, pea shooters, or weapons of any type are to be brought on the bus.
  • Paper or other litter should not be thrown on the bus floor.
  • Students should not deface the bus. Willful or careless damage must be paid for by the students.
  • Students should not chew gum, eat, or drink on the bus.
  • No pets or animals are allowed on the bus. Animals brought on the bus create disturbances which may result in unsafe driving situations.

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Leaving the Bus

  • Students must remain seated until the bus comes to a full stop.
  • Students are to leave the bus in an orderly manner. The students in the front seats will depart first.
  • Students must not loiter around the bus.
  • Students must leave the bus at their regular stop.
  • If a student must cross a street, they are to do so only at the front and at a distance of at least ten feet in front of the bus. They must not cross until the bus driver has signaled that it is safe to do so.
  • It is the parents responsibility to get their child from the bus stop to their destination.
  • Riding the school bus is a privilege, not a right.

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