Statement: Students with Disabilities Deserve Better Busing This Year

INCLUDEnyc looks forward to the implementation of new policies and GPS technology by the NYC Department of Education to improve school busing, leading to better quality and delivery of busing services for all students, including students with disabilities.

“While we look forward to improved communication among parents, schools, bus companies, and the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT), parents still won't have access to the same information as schools through an app, including the exact location of their child's bus, on the first day of school,” said Barbara A. Glassman, Executive Director of INCLUDEnyc, a non-profit helping young people with disabilities and their families navigate and understand special education. “Calling OPT will remain the only way parents can get an immediate response or information when problems arise.”

“Last September, INCLUDEnyc experienced a 44 percent increase in the number of parents who reached out for help about busing issues. Even with the proposed improved communications and oversight, students with disabilities spend far too much time on buses because of very early pick up and late drop off times. Many students with disabilities spend two hours on a school bus each way exceeding the allowed travel time set forth by the Department of Education or otherwise documented on their IEPs,” Glassman added. 

Students with disabilities are legally entitled to safe and timely transportation to and from school each day, based on their individual needs. 

Parents will begin receiving notification from OPT with their child's busing information such as bus company, route, sequence, size, and type of bus this week. They also can obtain the same information by calling OPT, or going to OPT's website now.

To hear from INCLUDEnyc parents on busing issues, please contact jreres@includenyc.org.