The Public Bus is managed by the Department of Pupil Transportation (OPT). Student eligibility for Free Public busing by the Department of Education is determined by the Department of Pupil Transportation. We’ve compiled some Yellow Bus FAQs from our PTA Community, which may be a great resource for common questions. Please reach out to Q300’s Parent Coordinator for specific information about your child: Bonita Onunka at Bonita@q300.org.
More information can be found on the OPT and Q300 School site.
- NYC Department of Education – Department of Pupil Transportation page: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/transportation/transportation-overview
- Q300 Transportation Page: http://www.q300.org/transportation.html
Public Bus 2018-2019 Frequently Asked Questions
Below are FAQs for the Public Yellow Bus provided by the Department of Education. The answers are provided by the Q300 PTA community. Please let us know if you encounter any discrepancies, and we can update.
- Who coordinates the yellow school bus routes?
The Yellow Bus is coordinated by Q300 and OPT. The Q300 PTA DOES NOT coordinate bus routes, stops, or determination of eligibility. Please reach out to Q300’s Parent Coordinator for specific information about your child: Bonita Onunka at Bonita@q300.org.
- What is the website to access yellow bus service information?
You can find student specific information on the OPT website by entering your child’s OSIS. Bus routes won’t be available till the end of August, after Q300 has provided the list of qualifying families to OPT: https://www.opt-osfns.org/opt/Resources/SchoolRouteStSearch/SearchResult.aspx?display=StudentOnly
School Bus information
- How do I contact OPT?
OPT Customer Service Agents are available Monday-Friday from 5:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M. at (718) 392-8855
- Who qualifies for yellow school bus service? (based on # miles, age, etc.)?
Q300 Administration provides a list of families that qualify for Yellow Bus based on eligibility on the POT website here: http://www.optnyc.org/ServicesAndEligibility/getransportation.htm
- When will we know if we qualify for the yellow bus and pick-up/drop-off time?
At the end of August, after the school administrator has provided student information to OPT. OPT will update the site- so keep checking. Please keep in mind that the routes are very likely to change the first few weeks of school- both the stop location AND the pickup/drop off times.
- If I want to opt for Metrocard where can apply to get one?
Please reach out to the school to coordinate. They can work with families to identify if you qualify for a Metrocard. Metrocards are distributed by the school.
- If we qualify for yellow school bus service, can we opt to use public transportation instead and get free Metrocards?
You will need to reach out to the school to coordinate.
- If we want only yellow school bus pick-up in the morning but not afternoon drop-off, are we able to do that? Will we qualify for one-way Metrocard for the afternoon?
Yes, you can opt for pick up only. Some Q300 Families stay at Serious Fun- the private after school care. Families will need to specify this on their child’s dismissal form.
- If the yellow school bus ride is over 90 minutes, are we able to contact the OPT to create a new shorter route?
Yes, but the school will need to coordinate this.
- What are the general pick-up and drop-off times for yellow school bus for the different routes? How long is the yellow school bus ride generally for the different routes?
For the 2015-2016 route, the first pick up was at xx:xx, and the last pick up was at xx:xx for an xx:xx arrival. Drop offs were between xx:xx and xx:xx.
- If yellow bus service is not offered to us, how do we get the Metrocards to use on public transportation?
The School will coordinate the distribution of Metrocards.
- Is there yellow bus service on the first few days of school?
Yellow bus may be available on the first day of school, if requested by the Principal. Yellow Bus usually is in full operation by the second day of school.
- Is there yellow bus service on half-days?
Yes- there is Yellow Bus Service on half days. OPT will not issue a new schedule, so we lean on the parent chat group to get more precise timing on when to be at the bus stop.
- Is the yellow bus service for the different routes only for Q300, or is it shared with other schools with the yellow bus doing drop-offs at other schools?
The bus routes are only for Q300 students. The buses aren’t shared with other schools.
- What are other resources available?
Whatsapp for Q300 Bus Route Members: Administered by Colin Petch. Also, Q300 Yellow Bus Google Group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/q300-doebus
Students who are not eligible for a public bus may be able to sign up for Private Busing, which is coordinated by volunteer parents and is not managed or administered by the PTA. Please email the private bus email account for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Private Bus 2018-2019 Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there private bus service in my area?
During the 2017-18 school year we operated five buses:
- Two Central Queens Elementary School buses primarily servicing Forest Hills (several stops on both the North and South side of Queens Blvd). Select stops were also available in Jamaica, Briarwood, and Flushing.
- Northeastern Queens Middle School (Flushing, Whitestone, Bayside, Fresh Meadows, College Point)
- Central Queens Middle School (Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, Elmhurst, Jamaica)
- Brooklyn Elementary School (Downtown Brooklyn, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg and Greenpoint)
As the school is growing, we hope to expand the areas covered as demand allows. Of course, bus service for any particular area or student depends on a variety of factors and cannot be guaranteed.
The private buses make several stops throughout the neighborhoods listed. Most children walk several blocks to their stop. Parents who live in neighborhoods that are not serviced may choose to drive their students to a conveniently-located route on the stop to utilize the private bus.
- How long is the commute?
Commute time is subject to bus stop and traffic conditions. For example, in 2017-2018, the Central Queens Elementary buses run about 50 minutes in the morning from the first stop in Forest Hills to school and about 30 minutes from the last stop in Forest Hills to school. The afternoon commute takes a slightly less time. Middle school buses tend to run a little longer. Schedules will vary year to year as routes are adjusted to reflect ridership changes.
- Is there a matron on the bus?
In 2017-2018, there were bus matrons/attendants on the Central Queens Elementary buses, the buses with the most ridership. The other routes had smaller buses, fewer students/less complexity for the bus driver to manage, or older students. However, as ridership expands this may change as well.
- How much does the private bus cost?
Bus rates vary year to year and have ranged from approximately $3000 to $4500 per year depending on the bus route, number of riders, and use of a matron. In addition, a registration fee is required to reserve your child’s spot on the bus. In 2017-18, the registration fee was $75 per family. Discounts were available for one-way riders and siblings during the 2017-18 year.
- Is private bus service available for both elementary and middle school students?
We make every effort to provide options for both elementary (K-4) and middle school students (5-8). Elementary and middle school routes are separate due to location and school schedules.
- Does the private bus have seatbelts?
Yes! The private buses are traditional yellow school buses with seat belts for the students. In the past they have been air-conditioned as well.
- How can I find out if my child will receive yellow bus service through the DOE?
The DOE will only provide a bus if they are able to create a route with at least 10 riders that meet the distance requirements below. To potentially qualify for service, students must live in Queens and under five miles from the school. The DOE does not release their routes until late-August. Distances that may qualify for a DOE bus depend on grade:
- Grades K-2: Students must live between ½ miles and five miles from Q300.
- Grades 3-6: Students must live at least one mile and less than five miles from Q300.
- Grades 7-8: No DOE buses are available.
Please note, there were not enough eligible 6th grade students to form a DOE bus for the middle school campus during the 2017-18 school year. This may change with the addition of 5th grade students to the middle school campus during the 2018-19 school year; however, route information will not be released until late-August.
For more information on DOE buses, contact the school directly or visit the OPT website: http://www.optnyc.org/parents/information.htm
- Is there a bus that takes students home after the Q300 after-school program?
For the 2017-2018 school year, there was not enough interest in a second bus after the after-school program along the existing private bus route. However, a group of parents have hired transportation for their students back to Jackson Heights and Elmhurst after the after-school program. Bus service for after-school will be revisited if there is sufficient demand.
- Can the bus drop off at other after school programs?
Potentially, depending on the needs of our ridership. For the 2017-2018 school year, a private bus drops off at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills and many Q300 students attend the after-school programs at that location. Drop-off at other after-school locations may be possible in the future.
- How do I request private bus service for my child?
Once your child is registered at Q300, you will be sent a link to request bus service for the 2018-2019 year. After filling out the form, you will be notified in late summer whether there would be a bus stop close to you. Bus stop availability is subject to your location and the planned bus route.
Questions should be directed as follows:
- Elementary (Queens): email@example.com
- Middle School (Queens): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elementary (Brooklyn): Michael Rosner at email@example.com
For any additional general questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can I pay the registration fee by credit card?
Yes you can, via PayPal. Please complete the following 2 questions and click “Pay Now” to be taken to PayPal to complete the process.