Transportation
FAQ

CMS TRANSPORTATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR


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When will I receive my child’s bus stop assignment information?​

Student bus schedule information will be distributed to the schools during the second week of August. Schools will send that information directly to the parents with other opening of school information. 


My child does not have a bus stop; how do I get one and how long will it take?

Determine if the child is enrolled in school and the enrollment date.  The child must be entered in PowerSchool at the school level or student assignment.  Transportation receives downloads from PowerSchool through the data warehouse nightly.  IF a child is determined eligible for transportation and requires a bus stop, the transportation routing technician will be notified in a report each morning.  The number of changes and work to be processed will impact the turnaround time for a child to receive a new bus stop or change to an existing stop. The transportation department’s goal is to have all bus stops assigned within 3-5 working days from the date of receipt. The new or changed bus schedule for a child will be available to the school via the EveryInfo program.  Administrators should print a “bus pass” to send home with the student.  This will be official notification with details of the bus stop, time and bus number, as well as, the effective date for the service to begin.    


If I need a daycare stop or a stop at grandma’s what do I do? 

Parents can go online to the Transportation page on the CMS website at www.cms.k12.nc.us and find Transportation in the Departments tab or by clicking HERE. Click on Alternate Stop Request Form link and complete the request form. This is electronically forwarded to the routing technician responsible for the child’s attending school for processing and determination if the alternate stop qualifies for assignment.  There is a listing of daycares on Transportation website which lists some of the approved daycares for each school.  Although it may not be all inclusive, it is a good reference for schools and parents. 


We have moved and I need to change my child’s address, how do I do this?

The parent/guardian needs to contact the school and provide proof of residence address.  The new address needs to be entered into PowerSchool.  Transportation eligibility will be determined and a bus stop will be scheduled accordingly.  If the address is not correct or is not updated, Transportation cannot be held responsible for the location a child is picked up or dropped off.


If the school assignment on my child’s bus schedule is not correct, who do I call? 

Contact the Student Placement Office at 980-343-5335 to verify the school assignment.


My child’s bus has not shown up and/or is consistently late; who can I call? 

The parent should contact the Transportation Area Office responsible for their school to discuss their concern and receive resolution.   Please be patient at the beginning of school due to the number of changes in schedules and also the number of calls being handled in the central transportation office and area offices.  The goal is to serve all customers in a timely fashion and with accuracy. 



Following are answers provided by CMS Transportation to some of the more frequently asked questions regarding local transportation:

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Are parents and/or authorized persons  required to accompany a Pre-K student at a bus stop ?

Parents and/or an authorized person are required to accompany a Pre-K aged student at the bus stop.  A bus driver may not release a Pre-K aged child from the bus unless this person(s) is present at the bus stop.   All other students, aged K-12, may wait for the bus and be discharged from the bus without the presence of an adult and/or authorized responsible party. 


The bus didn’t show up on time for my child. How long should he or she wait at the stop?

Your child should arrive at the stop at least ten minutes before the regular arrival time of the bus. If there is a substitute driver, the times may not be absolutely consistent with the regular times. If the bus is late ask your child to remain at the stop. Buses break down, roads are blocked, drivers become ill or have emergencies, but there will always be a bus at every stop. If the wait becomes extreme, please call your area transportation office.


My child left a coat (glasses, instrument, retainer, books) on the bus. How does the student  get it back?

Drivers check their buses after every run. Items left by students are held by the driver for several days and may be claimed on the bus by the child. Certain items are removed from the bus and turned into the area transportation office.  Unclaimed and unlabeled items are donated to charity. You can help by labeling all of your child’s school belongings with the child’s name and school.


Do state regulations for school buses supersede federal requirements?  

No. State laws do not supersede federal requirements. State regulations for school buses can and usually do add requirements for safety. These requirements are additional to the federal requirements.


​Why are buses sometimes late?

School bus drivers can have the same reasons as motorists for being late. Traffic delays, weather conditions, accidents or driver’s illness are just a few reasons. School buses also have mechanical breakdowns or “no starts” that cause delays in picking students up on time. In cases where the regularly assigned bus or driver is unable to pick up students, a separate bus and driver are dispatched to pick up the students as quickly as possible. Please contact the transportation area office that serves you child's school.


Why do schools have different bell schedules?

In order to maximize the use of our school bus fleet and to provide a more efficient operation with as few buses as possible, schools are put into distinctly different time schedules. That enables one bus to serve two to four different schools within 2 ½ hours in the morning and afternoon.  Select the link below to review the current CMS Bell Schedule:


Why are spare replacement buses needed?

Buses operate throughout the day with shuttles, and field trips, in addition to the normal to-and-from school transportation requirements. In order to have the required number of operational buses each day, a group of backup or spare buses must be retained. By state regulation, school buses are required to be serviced and inspected every 30 days. When a bus is in for service, a spare bus is required to continue its runs without interruption. Furthermore, when a bus has mechanical problems or damage from accident or vandalism that require it to be out of service, a spare bus is needed to perform the duties of the out-of-service bus. Often, this can be for an extended period of time, especially in the case of accident repairs.​


I want to buy a used surplus school bus, who do I contact ? 

A list of surplus buses can be found on the NC School Bus Surplus System website at the link above or H​ERE.  ​Click 'Buses Grouped by County' and then click on 'Mecklenburg County'  to view the buses we have available.  Once you have a list of buses you'd like to view, please contact the Main CMS Transportation garage at 980-343-5046 to set up an appointment.

They are located at:

3901 Craig Ave. Charlotte, NC 28211