Register to Ride the Bus

  • Who can register for yellow bus service? 

    • Elementary school students who attend their neighborhood school and live outside the walk boundary (more than a 1-mile straight line distance from school to home)  
    • Middle school students who attend their neighborhood school and live outside the walk boundary (more than a 1.5-mile straight line distance from school to home)  
    • High school students who attend their neighborhood high school, live outside the walk boundary (more than a 1.5-mile straight line distance from school to home), and live outside STA’s service area. High school students living within STA’s service area will continue using STA for transportation. 
    • K-8 Option School Students 
    • 9-12 Option School Students living outside STA’s service area. 

    Families needing specialized transportation for their student(s) should contact their case manager. 

    If you’re not sure if your student is eligible for yellow bus service, complete the registration process and the system will let you know.

    What do I need to complete the registration process? 

    You will need your student’s date of birth and student ID number, which can be found in PowerSchool. If you don’t know your student’s ID number, cannot access PowerSchool, or are registering a student new to the district, please send a message to Let’s Talk so we can assist. 

    When you register, you’ll be shown the address SPS has on record, your student’s school, and you will opt for a.m., p.m., or two-way transportation. If you are eligible, the system will assign you a tentative bus stop. 

Protocol for Kindergarten Riders

  • Kindergarten families will be asked to have a family member over the age of 12 present for the FIRST 10 DAYS OF SCHOOL in order for kindergarteners to be released at the bus stop.
  • If no family member is present at the bus stop, bus drivers will make a second attempt if time permits.
  • After the second attempt, the student will be returned to the school and parents will be notified.
  • This safety requirement is in effect for the FIRST 10 DAYS OF SCHOOL.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my student eligible to ride the school bus?

SPS students may ride the school bus if they live:

  • Within their school's attendance area AND
  • Outside the school's established walk boundary.

Please submit questions on our Let's Talk portal.

When I look up the route from my house to my student’s school, it is more than 1-mile (elementary) or 1.5-mile (secondary). Why is my student not eligible?

The walk-zone boundary is determined by a straight-line distance around the school and may not match a travel path distance. Use of a straight line to determine a boundary is standard practice at school districts across the country. Our boundary limits are also consistent with other school districts respective to grade levels. 

Even though we are within the walk boundary, there is not a safe walking route for my student.

Walking routes around schools are regularly evaluated by Transportation and Risk Management staff. If you feel there is not a safe walking route between your home and school due to an absence of sidewalks, controlled crossings, or other safety features, please send a message to Let’s Talk with specific details and photos of hazards. 

Please note that while we share feedback to evaluate and improve pedestrian safety around our schools, safety features like painted crosswalks, street signage, and flashing lights are implemented by the City of Spokane. If you would like to share your ideas directly with the city, please call 311 or 509.755.CITY (2489). 

I need my student’s ID number to register. Where can I find it?

You can look up your student’s ID number by logging into PowerSchool or by contacting your school office. If you cannot access PowerSchool, are registering a student new to the district, or your school office is closed for the summer, please send a message to Let’s Talk so we can assist. 

My student needs specialized transportation. What do I do?

If your student needs specialized transportation, please contact your student's case manager or contact your school office to connect you with the case manager. The Special Education department will complete registration for your student. If you are approved for specialized transportation, you do not need to register for the school bus here.

The address shown when I tried to register isn’t right.

You will need to contact your school to have student records updated with your current address. If your school office is closed for the summer, please send a message to Let’s Talk so we can assist. 

How will I know where my student's bus stop is?

The District’s transportation provider, Zūm, will communicate with families that have registered and are eligible for transportation prior to the start of school on bus route assignment information. Please ensure your address and contact information is up to date with your school.

Can I have my student picked up/dropped off at a different location?

Yes, as long as:

Can my student bring a friend on the bus?

No. SPS provides home-to-school transportation for eligible bus riders only. Students may not invite others to ride the bus with them. Authorized students may only ride the bus on their assigned route and only access their assigned stop.

What if my address changes during the school year?

You must contact the school's office manager to keep your student's record current, which will help minimize interruptions in bussing.

If you have moved out of your school's attendance area and want to stay at your current school, you will need to fill out the required paperwork. Students who choose to attend a school outside their attendance area are not eligible to ride the school bus. Please call the Transportation office for other eligible program options.

What if my student participates in after-school activities?

If your student is already registered and eligible to ride the bus, they will be able to ride an activity bus. They will only be dropped off at their regular assigned stop.

What are the rules when my student rides the bus?

My other middle school student used to ride the bus. Why can’t my 6th grader ride the bus now?

During the 2021-22 school year, Spokane Public Schools transportation was heavily impacted by the national bus driver shortage. In 2022-23, the district implemented several strategies to improve services. One of these strategies was to expand the walk-zone boundary for secondary school students to 1.5 miles. This new boundary is consistent with other school districts respective to grade levels. 

Why is the district switching bus providers?

SPS engages in 5-year contracts with transportation providers. As the end of our previous contract approached, the district requested formal bids for services in December 2022. Proposals were reviewed and scored by district staff, and a recommendation was made to the Board of Directors to award a 2023-28 contract to Zūm Services. The board voted unanimously to contract with Zūm. 

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