Pupil Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who is eligible for school transportation?

2. Why can’t the bus go down my street?

3. Specific information contacts


1. Who is eligible for school transportation?


A. State transportation funds shall be used only for transporting eligible students.

B. Transportation eligibility for elementary students (K-6) and secondary students (7-12) is determined in accordance with the mileage from home specified in Section 53A-17a-127(1) and (2) to the school attended by assignment of the local board.

C. A student who’s IEP identifies transportation as a necessary service is eligible for transportation regardless of distance from the school attended by assignment of the local board.

D. Students who attend school for at least one-half day at an alternate location are expected to walk distances up to 1 and one half miles.

E. A school district that implements double sessions as an alternative to new building construction may transport, one-way to or from school, with Board approval, affected elementary students residing less than one and one-half miles from school, if the local board determines the transportation would improve safety affected by darkness or other hazardous conditions.

F. The distance from home to school is determined as follows: From the center of the public route (road, thoroughfare, walkway, or highway) open to public use, opposite the regular entrance of the one where the pupil is living, over the nearest public route (thoroughfare, road, walkway, or highway) open regularly for use by the public, to the center of the public route (thoroughfare, road, walkway, or highway) open to public use, opposite the nearest public entrance to the school grounds which the student is attending.

Student with Disabilities Transportation

A. Students with disabilities are transported on regular buses and regular routes whenever possible. School districts may request approval, prior to providing transportation, for reimbursement for transporting students with disabilities who cannot be safely transported on regular school bus runs.

B. School districts may be reimbursed for the costs of transporting or for alternative transportation for students with disabilities whose severity of disability, or combination of disabilities, necessitates special transportation.

C. Transportation is provided by the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind for students who are transported to its self-contained classes. Exceptions may be approved by the Utah State Board of Education, (USBE).



2. Why can’t the bus go down my street?

Bus Route Approval

A. Transportation is over routes proposed by local boards and approved by the USBE. Information requested by the USBE shall be provided prior to approval of a route. A route usually is not approved for reimbursement if an equitable student transportation allowance or a subsistence allowance accomplishes the needed transportation at less cost. A route shall:

  • traverse the most direct public route;
  • be reasonably cost effective related to other feasible alternatives;
  • provide adequate safety;
  • traverse roads that are constructed and maintained in a manner that does not cause property damage; and
  • include an economically adequate number of students.

B. The minimum number of general education students required to establish a route is ten; the minimum number of students with disabilities is five. A route may be established for fewer students upon special permission of the State Superintendent.

C. The school district designates safe areas for bus stops.

  • To promote efficiency, the USBE approved minimum distance between bus stops is 3/10 of a mile. The USBE may approve shorter distances between bus stops for student safety.
  • Bus routes shall avoid, whenever possible, bus stops on dead-end roads.
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation to bus stops up to one and one-half miles from home.
  • Special education students are responsible for their own transportation to bus stops consistent with their IEPs.

D. Changes made by school districts in existing routes or the addition of new routes shall be reported to the USOE as they occur. The USBE shall review and may refuse to fund route changes as applicable.

E. Transporting eligible students home after school activities held at the students' school of regular attendance and within a reasonable time period after the close of the regular school day is approved route mileage.

F. A route may be approved as an alternative to building construction upon special permission of the USBE if the route is needed to allow more efficient school district use of school facilities. Building construction alternatives include elementary double sessions, year-round school, and attendance across school district boundaries.

G. (1) School districts may use State Guarantee Transportation Levy or local transportation funds to transport students across state lines or out-of-state for school sponsored activities or required field trips if:

  • the local board has a policy that includes approval of trips at the appropriate administrative level;
  • the school or school district has considered the purpose of the trip or activity and any competing risk or liability;
  • given the distance, purpose and length of the trip, the school district has determined that the use of a publicly owned school bus is most appropriate for the trip or activity; and
  • the local board has consulted with State Risk Management.

(2) If school bus routes transport students across Utah state lines or outside of Utah for required to and from routes, routes are reimbursable providing school districts maintain documentation that the routes are necessary, or are more cost-effective, or provide greater safety for students than in-state routes.



3. Specific information contacts.

For questions pertaining to:

  • Administration of Pupil Transportation Programs
  • Legal
  • Legislation
  • Risk Management
  • Utah Standards
  • Federal Laws and Compliance
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Program
  • Media
  • Student Eligibility
  • School Bus Routing
  • Transportation Funding Forms

Please contact murrell [dot] martin [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (Murrell Martin) at (801) 538-7666.

For questions pertaining to:

  • In-Service
  • Original Certification Course
  • Professional Development
  • Safety Skills Competition
  • Driver Preservice and Recertification
  • Driver Classroom and Behind the Wheel Requirements
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • Background Checks
  • Motor Vehicle Records
  • Student Eligibility
  • School Bus Routing
  • Transportation Funding Forms

Please contact jackie [dot] hardma [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (Jackie Hardman) at (801) 538-7577.