Transportation FAQs

  • How are bus stops determined?

    Bus routes are designed with buses traveling on main roads through neighborhoods and with students being picked up/dropped off at central locations. Bus stops are located at corners or intersections whenever possible and are usually central to where students are coming from.

    • Some house stops are made on very busy roads or mid-way on long streets.

    • Bus stops will generally be closer to student’s houses for younger students.

    • Older students are expected to be able to walk further to bus stops.

    Why are bus stops usually established at corners or intersections?

    Students are generally taught to cross at corners rather than in the middle of the street.


    Traffic controls, such as stoplights or signs, are located at corners. This tends to make drivers more cautious as they approach intersections. Other drivers generally expect school buses to stop at corners rather than individual houses. Impatient motorists are also less likely to pass buses at corners than along a street. Cars passing school buses create the greatest risk to students who are getting on or off the bus.


    Buses use their eight-way light system and stop arm when picking up and dropping off students. Corner stops allow ample time for the driver to activate the yellow warning lights before getting to the stop.


    Bus drivers, especially substitutes, can see corner stops much more easily than house numbers, so they can keep their focus on their driving. House numbers are located in a variety of places on houses and are often not easily visible from the street, especially in bad weather and before dawn or after dusk.



    Ride times for students are shorter if buses are kept on main roads and are not sent down every street. Route changes for new students can be more easily accommodated when stops are at corners. Minimizing stops also reduces costs for fuel as well as wear and tear on the buses.


    Other Considerations

    The order of pickup and drop-offs of students is designed to be the most efficient and within the shortest possible time. Students who are first on in the morning will not necessarily be the first off in the afternoon if it is a less efficient way to run the route. In general, the further students live from school, the longer their bus ride will be. The length of the bus ride is determined by both the distance from school and the number of stops made. For this reason, we make every attempt to minimize the number of bus stops and to keep them at corners. 


    Combinations of the following criteria are also considered when establishing bus stops:

    • Length of walk to the stop. The general policy is that all students can be expected to walk up to 0.25 miles to the closest bus stop unless the length of a non-maneuverable street requires them to walk further.

    • Does the child have to cross a busy street to get to the stop?  Is the speed limit greater than 30 miles per hour with more than 100 cars per hour?

    • Does the route require that the bus do a turn-around at the stop location? If so, is the turn-around reasonable and safe? 

    • Students living in the designated non-transportation zone, 1.5 miles or less from their attending school, will not be provided transportation. 

    Criteria that are not considered requirements for adding a stop or making a house stop:

    • It is not possible to provide bus stops that are within sight of all student’s homes or daycare unless house stops are made for all students. Most families that live even one house from the corner cannot see the corner bus stop without coming out of the house. We do encourage parents to be out at bus stops to promote proper pedestrian and bus stop behavior.

    • A house stop would not necessarily be made only because the bus goes past a student’s house. Many routes travel past student’s houses on the way to or from school. The higher frequency of stops made by the bus makes the motoring public impatient and causes drivers to drive around the bus causing a great safety concern.

    • Likewise, a house stop would not necessarily be made because there is only one student at the stop. Other students may be assigned to the stop but ride infrequently. Also, stops are made at corners for efficiency and to accommodate other students who may move into the neighborhood.

    • Sidewalks. Many neighborhoods in McHenry School District 15 do not have sidewalks and therefore cannot be a justification for adding a stop. 

    • Weather conditions are not part of the criteria for a bus stop change.