Frequently Asked Questions
- Who do I call if my student lost something on the bus?
- Will crossing guards be provided on all busy streets?
- Is this a tax-deductible expense?
- Who administers this program?
- Will the district issue each student a pass showing he/she is eligible to ride the bus?
- Will the driver know if the student is registered and has paid the fee?
- Will special education students be required to purchase 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?
- Will a student enrolled in a school under the District’s open enrollment plan be permitted to ride a district bus?
- Can my child’s friend ride home on the bus if the friend has not paid the bus fee?
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.
- How will the two-mile distance be measured? Who will do the measuring?
- How will the distance be determined if my child is enrolled in Ready Start Kindergarten (RSK)?
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.
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.
Questions About Fees
We assess 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.
- Who decided that families residing within two miles of school might be required to pay a fee for bus service?
- Does $100 cover the full cost of transportation?
- Is my bus fee waived if I qualify for the Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program?
- What is the cost per student? Is there a maximum cost per family?
- If my child does not ride the bus everyday or only one-way will the fee be prorated?
- How is the scholarship fund financed?
- Will the fee impact both public and non-public students?
- 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?
- If we begin or end the service at less than a full year will the cost be prorated?
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.
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.
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.