school bus with stop sign

Students are eligible for transportation based on the distance from home to school:

  • Elementary school students who live more than 1 mile from their neighborhood school receive yellow bus service.

  • Middle school students who live more than 1.5 miles from their neighborhood or citywide school (selected through middle school choice) receive a One Card for use on the MTA.

  • High school students who live more than 1.5 miles from their school receive a One Card for use on the MTA.

In addition, students may be eligible for transportation services if they    

School bus service may also transport students and staff to and from extracurricular activities. Transportation is not provided by the district for students who attend charter schools. If your child attends a charter school, check with the school to find out if transportation services are available.

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MTA One Card

Middle and high school students who are eligible for transportation get a One Card for travel on the MTA. 

  • The One Card is valid from Monday to Friday between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., except when schools are closed for holidays or teacher professional days.

  • Students have four 120-minute travel windows when they can use the One Card to get on a bus or enter a Metro station or Light Rail. For example, if a student’s first use of the One Card is at 7:00 a.m., he or she can travel with unlimited transfers until 9:00 a.m. 

  • The One Card pays the MTA fare just like a ticket and identifies the rider as an eligible City Schools student. One Cards must therefore not be shared with classmates, friends, or relatives.

  • Students who do not have their card when boarding MTA transport will have to purchase a ticket or pay the full fare. (Students who lose their One Card should notify their school as soon as possible and may be subject to a $5.00 replacement fee for each occurrence of a lost fare card.)

  • For travel to or from official school- or district-sponsored events after 8:00 p.m. or on weekends, students will be issued “one student fare” tickets. These are valid after 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and can also be used on Saturday or Sunday. 


Please note that no one aside from students assigned to the school bus and the driver may enter or be on a bus unless City Schools' Director of Transportation gives approval. This include parents and other family members.

About our buses and drivers

City Schools buses and contract buses are inspected thoroughly three times a year in accordance with guidelines established by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. School bus drivers must satisfactorily complete an extensive and comprehensive training program to become certified and eligible to drive, and they must complete annual in-service training. In addition, drivers are required to meet health and driving-record standards. Drivers and bus aides are subject to a background check and a drug and alcohol screening.

School bus rules and guidelines

Behavior on school and MTA buses is governed by City Schools' Code of Conduct. In addition, students who travel on MTA must abide by MTA rules of conduct.

Before loading

  • Be careful walking to the bus stop.

  • Be ready to board the bus at least 10 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.

  • Stay out of the street while waiting to board the school bus.

  • Conduct yourself in a safe and orderly manner while waiting at the bus stop.

  • Do not approach the bus until it comes to a complete stop.

  • Carefully enter the bus and move quickly to your seat.

On the bus

  • The driver is in complete charge of the bus and students must respect his or her authority.

  • While the bus is in motion, students are to sit facing forward in the seats that have been assigned by the driver or school administrator.

  • Students may converse in a normal manner. Name-calling or loud, profane, or obscene language is not permitted.

  • Students must not extend any part of their bodies through the school bus windows.

  • Students may not eat, drink, smoke, or play radios, tape recorders, CD players, etc., while on board school buses.

  • Books, coats, school equipment, and musical instruments may be transported on the bus provided they can be secured in the seat and not placed in the aisles. For other objects, the driver may request written approval from City Schools' Transportation department.

  • Students must cooperate in keeping the bus clean and must not damage it. Any malicious or willful damage to a school bus will result in immediate withdrawal of transportation services for the student or students involved. In addition, the cost of repairing the damage must be satisfactorily settled.

  • Students are prohibited from throwing items out of the bus windows.

  • Pushing, shoving, and fighting are prohibited.

  • Absolute silence is necessary when approaching a railroad crossing.

  • In case of an emergency, students are to remain in the bus unless otherwise instructed by the driver.

Leaving the bus

  • Students should remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop.

  • Students should move a safe distance away from the bus as they unload, and never go under the bus for an object.

  • Students who must cross the street due to the location of their residence must move at least 10 feet in front of the bus before attempting to cross. Before crossing, students must look in both directions to be sure that no traffic is approaching.