DC Connect Frequently Asked Questions

Will the buses be open to all students?

Yes, however, there are a limited number of seats. The program is currently planning to accommodate up to 40 students per participating school.

What if enrollment has closed for my school?

You will be placed on the waitlist and seats will be filled as they come available.

Can  students eat/drink during the ride?

Students may not eat while riding in DC SchoolConnect vehicles. They may consume water only.

Is there an age limit? Are there booster seats?

Students must at least be five years old and in kindergarten. This service will be available for kids at least 40 pounds and height of 35 inches. Booster seats will be required for certain younger students and will be provided by the service. At this time, we do not have the car seats needed to transport Pre-K students, but we will work on acquiring them. Furthermore, we need an aid for all trips with Pre-K students and are still in the hiring process. We would like to work with you on the best way to meet this need in the future.

Are siblings able to ride together?

Yes, only if they attend the same school. If not, tight schedules limit the number of stops we can make, and it is difficult to offer to some families and not to others. Some parents are also uncomfortable putting much older kids in the vehicle with younger students.

What kind of vehicle will my child be riding in?

DC SchoolConnect vehicles are generally a branded bus bus or a red school bus. Some service is provided in standard automobiles, but this is limited.

Why can’t we change schedules every day?

We have existing times for families to meet buses, and it’s not feasible to change on the fly given they are shared rides.

Would there be a way to track my child(ren), while they are on the bus?

Each of the larger buses has an assigned Transportation Assistant (TA). They will typically keep in touch with you on a daily basis. Some of our service providers offer a GPS-tracking app or online portal as well.

Is there a way to track the bus to know when it arrives at each stop?

There will be a way to track bus arrivals. However, this feature may not be ready for all schools until a later date.

 Can I cancel a ride?

Yes. Same-day and future rides can be cancelled by calling our Hotline at 202-559-3229 option 1 for parents, then option 1 again to cancel. Please be sure to cancel the ride the day before or as early as possible on the same day.

 Can the program accommodate after school events?

Yes. Upon enrolling your child, let the registering staff know if aftercare pickup is needed, and we will schedule a late pickup for the days your child attends aftercare. This applies to before care as well.

 How many students per bus?

Our current fleet accommodates 6-24 students per bus.

 If there are more students than seats, will seats become available on a first come first serve basis?

Every child that is registered will be transported unless the family has canceled the service for that day. In the event there is an overload, an emergency backup will be sent to make sure all students get to school.

When will buses arrive for morning pick up and afternoon drop-off?

After registering, staff will reach out to families to confirm enrollment and determine which stop and times the student will use.

Can child change pickup / drop-off?

Yes. Changes to schedule or location must be routine and cannot by changed same day (i.e., every Friday they go to the same location or only transportation will be set up for Tuesday through Thursday, depending on the family’s needs)

Why can’t you take kids to their house?

Every stop adds a few minutes. By using grouped stops the overall trip time will be lower even if students may have to spend a few minutes traveling to that stop.

Why can’t you pick up outside of ward 7 & 8?

We are only able to serve the current 32 schools with existing resources; however, we do expect to expand.

Will they run on the same timeline every day, or will it be based on school/community demand?

Each school will have a different timeline depending on school requirements such as start time and end time. DC School Connect will follow school calendars regarding starting and ending times and days in school for DCPS and individual public charter schools.

Who will be operating the buses? Will each driver have an aide or attendant?

Qualified drivers will be hired to operate each bus and our program partners which will be regulated by DFHV. Transportation Assistants will coordinate at schools and in most cases will ride along in vehicles to monitor.

Can parents ride the bus?

No. We require parents or previously designated guardian to pick up children in third grade or below at pickup locations. Students who are not met will be returned to their school.

Can I request a specific driver?

No. Drivers are chosen based on availability.

 Will the driver have a list of kids that are supposed to be on the bus?

Yes. Once students are properly enrolled and the program has confirmed schedules, they will be added to the drivers’ rosters. Only students on the roster may ride the bus.

Will drivers and attendants have to go through a background clearance check.

Yes. Drivers are required to have an additional for hire license that requires a FBI background check that includes fingerprinting, driving history report, special inspections, and registration of the vehicle by the DMV, and clean arrest record from MPD.

Is there a permission slip that parents must sign?

Students enroll through this website.

Who do I call if there are issues with a driver, route, or schedule?

Please call our Hotline to report any issues. (202-559-3229)

Who do I call if there are issues with a driver, route, or schedule?

Please call our Hotline to report any issues.