Exceptions to Transportation Eligibility

Some families and students experiencing difficult circumstances may qualify for an exception to our normal transportation rules.

Note that no exception will be granted because a family disagrees with grade and distance eligibility.

To apply for an exception:

  1. Speak to your school about your child’s situation
  2. Review the information on this page
  3. If after steps 1 and 2, you believe your child may qualify, complete the form below and submit it to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

In the case of a medical exception, you will also need to complete the HIPAA Privacy Authorization Release Form and have your child’s doctor complete the Medical Evaluation Request Form.

Please see below for more details about each kind of exception.

Medical Exception

You may apply for a medical exception if your child has a temporary but serious medical, physical, or health condition that prevents your child from taking public transportation. Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Accommodations Plan should not fill out a medical exception request. Instead, speak with your school for more information.

To apply, the following three forms are required:

  • The Exception Request Form
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Email the entire package to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov. You can also submit to your school, which will scan and email to the email address.

After submission, the Office of Pupil Transportation will send the forms to the Office of School Health for review and recommendation. Please note that the review by the Office of School Health typically takes 2-4 weeks.

Temporary Housing Exception

Students in temporary housing (STH) include children living in shelters, including domestic violence shelters, children residing with other families due to financial or economic hardship (doubled-up), and children transitioning to permanent housing. See Chancellor’s Regulation A-780 for the full definition and entitlements.

Students in temporary housing are entitled to transportation. Transportation can be provided via MetroCard or bus, depending on availability and the child’s grade.

The DOE and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) work together to automatically provide transportation to children residing in DHS shelters. For all other children, including those residing in domestic violence shelters, transportation can be requested as follows:

  • Fill out the Exception Request Form
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Families can submit these requests directly to the email address listed above, or they can work with shelter staff, DOE shelter staff, or school staff to submit them to the email address.

For children residing in domestic violence shelters, the DOE is committed to preserving confidentiality of the child’s location, and works closely with domestic violence shelter staff to ensure children are provided a convenient method of transportation without revealing their address.

Foster Care Exception

Children in foster care are eligible for transportation. Transportation can be provided via MetroCard or bus, depending on the availability and the child’s grade.

Parents, foster parents, and/or foster care agencies should submit the Exception Request Form to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

You can also submit them to your school, which will scan and email to the email address.

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Joint Custody Exception

Children whose parents/guardians no longer reside in the same home may be eligible for a joint custody arrangement, if:

  • The child already receives curb-to-school or specialized transportation as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Accommodations Plan, or approved medical exception;
  • The child already receives stop-to-school transportation based on grade and distance eligibility; or
  • One of the two addresses qualifies based on grade and distance eligibility.

Note that children for whom one of the two addresses qualifies, the child will only be eligible for busing to the address that qualifies, not to both.

To apply for this type of exception, submit:

  • The Exception Request Form
    • BOTH parents/guardians must sign the application
    • The requested calendar MUST be filled out entirely for a two-week cycle
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  • Legal documentation of custody arrangement – acceptable documents are listed below:
    • Joint custody agreement
    • Court order that details the joint custody agreement
    • Divorce decree that details the joint custody agreement
    • Separation agreement that details the joint custody arrangement

Email the entire package to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

You can also submit to your school, which will scan and email to the email address.

Victim of a Crime Exception

If your child has been a victim of a crime either outside of their school or on the way to or from school, they may be eligible for an exception.

To apply for this type of exception, submit:

  • The Exception Request Form
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  • One of the following:
    • Police report
    • School incident report number
    • Written statement by the child

Email the entire package to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

You can also submit to your school, which will scan and email to the email address.

Order of Protection Exception

If your child has an Order of Protection against another child or an adult, this must be immediately reported to your school. Your school must input this information into DOE systems with no delay to ensure your child’s safety.

After you have completed this necessary step, you can apply for an exception. Submit:

  • The Exception Request Form
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  • Order of Protection

Email the entire package to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

You can also submit to your school, which will scan and email to the email address.

Hazard Exception

Children are expected to walk the shortest route and along established streets and sidewalks available to regular auto or pedestrian traffic, or satisfactory off-road paths in order to reach school.

Please note: The following are NOT considered hazards or obstructions, and requests based on these will not be approved:

  • People loitering along the walkway
  • General concerns about crime in the neighborhood
  • Unpaved roads or sidewalks
  • Traveling in the dark
  • Abandoned buildings lining a street along the walkway

If your child is in kindergarten through sixth grade AND one of the following conditions are present along the walkway to school, to a school bus stop, or to a public transit stop, then you may request an exception:

  • Narrow bridges or underpass
  • Railroad crossing
  • No sidewalk
  • Busy street but no stop sign, traffic light, and/or pedestrian crossing
  • Barrier that requires re-routing to a longer walkway

When reviewing these requests, we may recommend an alternative walking path that avoids the hazardous conditions in accordance with the child’s allowable distance and grade eligibility.

To apply for this type of exception, submit the Exceptions Request Form and submit to BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

You can also submit to your school, which will scan and email to the email address.

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