Frequently Asked Questions
Who qualifies for Berkeley Carroll’s free bus service?
Although Berkeley Carroll works with a private bus service to provide transportation, we rely on Department of Education guidelines to establish who can ride the bus. Students who meet Department of Education guidelines qualify for bus service. Please reference the table on our bus transportation home page for details about DOE guidelines. In some cases, when a student does not live near any existing bus routes, the school may not be able to accommodate a request to participate in the bus program. If you would like information about existing routes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What days is bus service provided?
Bus service is provided every regular day that school is in session, but it is not provided on orientation days or parent-teacher conference days. Afternoon bus service is also not provided for PreK students during the “phase-in” period, and it is not provided to LS students on their respective Arch Days. On school-wide half-days, bus service will be provided at the 12:00 pm dismissal.
Where will my child be picked up and dropped off?
Berkeley Carroll does its best to provide a close and convenient bus stop for all families, but in order to serve as many eligible families as possible, the school cannot provide door to door service. Each bus generally services 20-50 students and makes 10-15 stops. In most cases, bus stops will be within a five block radius of each rider’s home.
How long will my child be on the bus?
The duration of the ride depends on the location of your stop, where it falls on the route, and how many students ride your bus. Students who are at the beginning of a route can expect to be on the bus for between 45 minutes and one hour, unless they are coming from Manhattan or Queens, in which case the ride will likely be between one hour and ninety minutes. Students who live closer to the school, and are therefore at the end of the route, can expect a shorter ride, of perhaps 20-40 minutes.
When should I plan to arrive at my bus stop?
We ask that all bus riders arrive at their designated stop at least five minutes before its scheduled arrival. If you are late to your bus stop, we cannot guarantee that the bus driver will be able to wait.
Who are the drivers?
Bus service is provided by ARJ, whose professional drivers have extensive school bus experience. You can expect to have the same driver in both the morning and afternoon for the full school year, except for occasional vacations and sick days, when a substitute driver will be provided. You will receive the name and cell phone number for your driver when you receive your route information, so you can get in touch if your bus is ever late, or you need to communicate a last minute change in your family’s plans.
What kind of training do the drivers undergo?
ARJ's mandatory School Bus Driver Basic Training (20 hours) is designed to prepare the new school bus driver for the challenges of school bus driving. The training program includes:
School bus driving fundamentals
Defensive driving techniques
Weather-related driving techniques
Interpersonal relations (for dealing with parents, students, and staff)
Federal and State laws
School district policies and procedures
Bus stop procedures
Railroad grade crossing procedures
Accident and emergency procedures
First aid CPR, and the Heimlich Maneuver
Blood borne pathogens and body fluid cleanup procedures
The School Bus Driver Advanced Training Program (10 hours) is an extensive refresher course designed to hone defensive driving and student discipline techniques, and includes topics such as:
Current safety issues and concerns
Local district issues
Current weather conditions and driving techniques
Road construction projects
Driver-student relations and conflict resolution
Can my child use bus service if he/she participates in after school courses or sports?
No, unfortunately the bus service is only available for students going home directly after dismissal. Berkeley Carroll does not offer bus service for students who have after school commitments that keep them on campus past the normal dismissal times.
Can the bus drop my child off at his after school class or club?
No, unfortunately the bus service is only able to drop children at their home, or possibly the home of a caregiver. We cannot provide transportation to classes, sports practices or clubs that children participate in outside of school hours.
Can my child bring a friend on the bus?
Only registered bus riders are permitted to take a bus to or from school, so children can only bring a friend on the bus if he/she currently is registered to be on another bus. Children who are not registered bus riders will not be able to ride the bus with friends.
Can I ride the bus with my child?
Provided that there is adequate space, parents may ride the bus with their children. Please check with our Transportation Coordinator before riding the bus, so he can confirm that there will be a seat available on the day(s) that you plan to be on the bus with your child.
What should I do if I move during the school year? Can my child still take the bus?
If you are moving to an area that is served by one of our existing routes, we can change your child’s bus assignment mid-year, provided there is space on the new route. Please communicate with Jessica Garcia, the Transportation Coordinator, about any moving plans well in advance, so she can work to accommodate your family.
How should I communicate if my child will not be riding the bus?
If you know in advance that your child will not be riding the bus on a given day, please email that information to email@example.com. If your plans change during the school day, please call the school directly to share updated information. The contact numbers for the school are as follows:
Lower School: 718-534-6601
Middle School: 718-534-6535
Upper School: 718-534-6550
If your plans change in the morning, you can call your bus driver directly to let him/her know that your child will not be taking the bus that day.
What should I do if my bus is late?
Traffic can be unpredictable in the mornings and afternoons, so you can expect that your driver may occasionally be late to pick up or drop off your child. When a driver knows he/she will be delayed, you may receive a text message or call to notify you of the change in schedule. If you have not heard anything from your driver and he/she is more than ten minutes late, you can call the driver directly to check his/her whereabouts. If you are unable to reach your driver, please call the ARJ dispatch at 718-444-4200.
Whom should I contact if I have questions or concerns about the bus service?
Please direct any questions and concerns to Sharifah Taylor, Berkeley Carroll’s Transportation Coordinator. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-534-7106.