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Specialized Transportation

Students receiving special education services that are mandated to receive specialized transportation on their most recent IEP are placed on bus routes to and from the school they attend. In addition, parents may request additional medical accommodations based on their child’s special needs which may also affect the type of vehicle or route on which the student is placed.

A student’s IEP is initially developed by the Committee on Special Education and managed at the school level by the School Assessment Team, School Based Support Team, or the School Psychologist. IEPs for students attending Charter and Non-Public schools are managed through the Committee on Special Education. The Chancellor’s regulations define key responsibilities of everyone involved in the movement of students with disabilities. This includes the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT), the Division of Special Education, the Committee on Special Education, the bus companies, drivers, attendants, schools, parents and guardians, and children. Additional Information on the IEP process as a whole can be reviewed in the Family Guide to Special Education.

Once the IEP and any accommodations have been approved, OPT receives this information and assigns the student to a specific bus route. Changes through the year: home address; school, ambulatory status, or approved accommodations, are entered and then received by OPT and routes are adjusted accordingly.

Students receiving SE services at their school but not mandated to receive specialized transportation per their IEP, receive the same services as their non-disabled peers. They may be assigned stop to school transportation or receive a MetroCard that is valid on MTA subway and buses.

Guide: Information for Parents & families (SE Transportation)

Change of After School Drop-Off Location for Students with Disabilities

In some cases, parents and guardians may need an afternoon drop-off location that is different from their child's morning pick-up location. Parents/guardians should complete the Request to Change a Special Education Student's After School Drop-Off Location form to request that their child be dropped off in the afternoon at a location other than their home address. Parents may request this for each day of the week, or specific days (student will be taken to their home address other days).

Regulations do not require that a student be dropped off after school at any location other than the student’s home, but OPT will make an effort to accommodate these requests provided that the following conditions apply:

  1. The student must be mandated to receive specialized transportation;
  2. The student may be dropped at only one alternate location on the days requested;
  3. The new drop location is in the child’s home borough or in the school’s borough.

To assist us in reviewing and processing your request, please be sure to:

  • Print the information clearly.
  • Enter the student ID number.
  • Sign the form (parent/guardian or other designated person responsible for the child).
  • Have the form notarized.
  • Mail or fax the request to the address listed on the form.

Students will be taken to their home address on half days.

Request to Change an After School Drop-Off Location for Student with Disability 

View, print or save the instructions and forms in: English or Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, FrenchHaitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish or Urdu.

F.A.Q.'s - Frequently Asked Questions

Why do routes change and how are parents notified?

  1. Stop to School bus routes may change if additional vehicles need to be added to accommodate additional students or to better utilize space on the bus.
  2. Specialized transportation routes will change for a number of reasons: student address changes, enrollment changes, medical accommodation changes, or to address and correct route problems.

The driver on the stop to school route will inform parents and schools if the pick up or drop off times will be changing. Vendors notify OPT when these times change so information available to our customer service representatives is as accurate as possible, as well as ridership information for schools is updated.

When changes are made to specialized transportation bus routes, OPT sends a letter home to inform parents and families, and also updates ridership information for schools in advance of the planned change.

When should I call the bus vendor?

Parents should not contact the vendor they should contact OPT: (718) 392-8855.

When should I call OPT?

Parents and school staff are encouraged to use OPT Customer Service number (718)392-8855 to report any service issues. When calling it would be helpful to have the students ID# and the respective Route#.

Reasons to contact OPT include:

  • Bus has not yet arrived at bus stop or residence
  • Bus arrived late at school past the start of the school day
  • Bus is not on time for afternoon pick-up
  • Child has not arrived home or is arriving home much later than usual
  • Reports about possible driver/attendant misconduct issues

OPT Customer Service agents will provide information and will record details of the service issue for follow up and resolution by other OPT teams.