Frequently Asked Questions

Minnetonka Public Schools assesses a transportation fee for bus service for all public and private school students who reside within two miles of the school they attend. Because the school bus is the safest way to get to and from school, all families are strongly encouraged to register for bus service. Families may register and pay the fee online or download and print the registration form to mail with payment.

Questions About Fees

Who decided that families residing within two miles of school might be required to pay a fee for bus service?

The 2001 legislature decided that local school districts must provide free transportation for all students residing more than two miles from school. The law enables a school board to provide transportation to students within the two-mile boundary without charge, or, to charge a fee. If a fee is charged, the local school board is responsible to determine the amount of the fee. In 2005 the Minnetonka School Board voted to approve a new transportation fee of $100 per student residing within two miles of school to help subsidize the cost of continuing to provide this service.

Does $100 cover the full cost of transportation?

The $100 fee covers about one-fourth of the actual annual per pupil transportation cost.

Is my bus fee waived if I qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program?

The bus fee will be waived for families who qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program. Parents must complete the Transportation Bus Fee Registration Form. On this form there is an area for you to give permission to Nutrition Services to share your status with the Transportation Department. Please be sure to check this box and sign your name. If you are not eligible for the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program, we will consider an application to waive or reduce the transportation fee on a case-by-case basis. If you have any questions regarding the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program, please contact Nutrition Services at 952-401-5034.

What is the cost per student? Is there a maximum cost per family?

The cost will be $100 per student with a maximum cost per family of $250 per year. There will be no charge for issuing bus passes that exceeds $250 cumulative cost per family.

If my child does not ride the bus everyday or only one-way will the fee be prorated?

The fee is the same regardless of the frequency of riding.

How is the scholarship fund financed?

The transportation registration form as well as an online payment in the Transportation Fee area will offer the opportunity to make a donation to the Transportation Scholarship account. In addition, parent organizations will also be asked to consider making a donation. Funds donated will be held in a trust account and only used to cover the cost of fees waived based upon financial hardship.

Will the fee impact both public and non-public students?

All students, both public and non-public, residing within two miles of their school will be required to pay the transportation fee.

If we reside in the fee area will my child be able to walk to a bus stop outside the two-mile area and ride the bus without charge?

No, only students who live more than two miles from school or who have paid the bus fee will be eligible to ride the bus without payment.

If we begin or end the service at less than a full year will the cost be prorated?

If the student moves into the fee area after the start of the year, the fee may be prorated. Contact the Transportation Department for rates, 952-401-5023.

Boundary Questions

How will the two-mile distance be measured? Who will do the measuring?

The distance will be measured using our bus routing program. The computer program, VersaTrans, uses the Hennepin County GIS map of the entire district. It is the most accurate and fair measurement of the distance between two points. The measurement is taken from the street center-line of the lot of the student’s primary residence to the center-driveway of the school.

How will the distance be determined if my child is enrolled in Ready Start Kindergarten (RSK)?

The distance will be measured based on the walking distance from the child’s home to the school of attendance. If the mileage exceeds two miles, transportation will be provided without charge. The parents will be required to pay a fee to ride the bus if their residence is within two miles of school.

Eligibility Questions

Will special education students be required to purchase a bus pass?

All students, including special education students, riding a full size bus and residing within two miles of the resident school will be required to pay a fee for bus service. However, state law stipulates that free bus service must be provided for special education students who require transportation as part of their individual education plan, regardless of where they live. As a result, special education students riding a special education bus will ride at no charge and will not be required to carry a bus pass.

Will a student enrolled in a school under the District’s Parent Option Program (POP) plan be permitted to ride a district bus?

The POP student will be provided free transportation if the student meets the bus at a regular bus stop and the residence is over 2 miles from the school attended. However, the district will not alter bus routes or travel into another attendance area to pick up a student.

Will a student enrolled in a school under the District’s open enrollment plan be permitted to ride a district bus?

Open enrollment students will be provided free transportation if the school they attend is over two miles from the point of entry into the District, based on bus capacity. We will not alter existing bus routes or travel into another school district to pick up a student enrolled under the open enrollment program.

Can my child’s friend ride home on the bus if the friend has not paid the bus fee?

The student must bring a parent permission slip to the school office authorizing the student to ride home on the same bus with your child. The school office is responsible for issuing the bus pass. The ride is only available if there is room on the bus.

General Questions

Who do I call if my student lost something on the bus?

First Student has a lost and found and can be reached at 952-470-5366.

Will crossing guards be provided on all busy streets?

Parents will be responsible for their children beyond school district property.

Is this a tax-deductible expense?

Transportation expenses may qualify under the state education subtraction and credit rules. Contact your tax preparer to learn if your family qualifies. Receipts will be furnished at parent’s request.

Who administers this program?

The Supervisor of Transportation and Student Accounting administer the program. They are located at the District Service Center (5621 County Highway 101).

Will the district issue each student a pass showing he/she is eligible to ride the bus?

A bus pass will be issued to each student eligible to ride the bus. A pass will be required to ride the bus.

Will the driver know if the student is registered and has paid the fee?

The driver will have a passenger list showing the names of each student eligible to ride the bus, both those that have paid a fee, and those riding who reside beyond two miles.

Transportation Information


Bus Fee Payment DueJune 15
Mailing Bus PassesAugust 23
Balance of Bus Fee DueNovember 15