Transportation Department

TCAPS Transportation Services

Bus service is provided to approximately 70% of TCAPS students and local private and parochial school students. Routes include more than 3,000 bus stops in a 300-square-mile area and drivers travel more than 7,000 miles per day.

TCAPS Receives 9th Consecutive 100% Passing Rating on School Bus Safety Inspection

[July 2020] Traverse City Area Public Schools has received its 9th consecutive 100% passing rating on its school bus safety inspection from the Michigan State Police (MSP).

“Even though this school year ended differently than it began, necessary maintenance has continued on our buses,” said Tyson Burch, director of facilities and transportation for Traverse City Area Public Schools. “Whether we are actively transporting students, delivering meals to families during the state-mandated school closures, or the buses are parked in the transportation lot, our dedicated mechanics and transportation staff work tirelessly to ensure our buses are safe, in excellent working order, and ready to go when needed.”

The External Linkannual MSP inspection ensures that the TCAPS bus fleet is ready to safely transport students to and from school and events.

Inclement Weather Announcements

Safety is of concern to all our bus drivers and transportation staff. Michigan weather can cause school closings, especially in winter. On days when weather may make traveling difficult, a decision on whether to cancel school is made by 4:30 a.m., if possible, and by 6:00 a.m. at the latest. School cancellations are broadcast on all local television and radio stations, and a special “hotline” at 231.933.1955. [PDF DocumentView Snow Day FAQs]

Bus Hotline: 231.933.1955
Driving Concerns/Routing Questions: 231.933.1933

School Bus Safety Tips

School Buses are like traffic signals. When overhead lights are flashing yellow prepare to stop. When overhead lights are flashing red, stop! When hazard warning lights are flashing, proceed with caution.

School Bus Safety Tips

  • A trusted adult should be at your child’s bus stop every morning and every evening.
  • Children should be cautioned about the danger of strangers.
  • Be at least five minutes early to catch the bus.

School Bus Danger Zones

Did you know there are areas to stay clear of when getting on and off the bus? Because school buses are so large, there are blind spots around the bus where it can be hard to see small children as they are preparing to board or after exiting a bus. Parents can help bus drivers keep children safe by discussing the danger zones shown in the photo on the left.

Bus-Danger-Zones - front and back of the bus most dangerous, watch for danger from passing traffic

Danger zone showing walking areas versus danger from passing cars

There are blind spots where the bus driver can lose sight of a child:

  • Front Danger Zone: It is never safe to walk close to the front of the bus. Children should walk five giant steps ahead of the bus before crossing in front of it.
  • Side Danger Zone: Children should always stay three giant steps away from the side of the bus.
  • Rear Danger Zone: Never walk behind the school bus.
  • Rear Danger Zone: Walk (don’t run) three giant steps away from the bus when exiting the bus. When the bus approaches, step back from the curb at least three giant steps.

Getting On and Off the Bus

  • Never run to catch the bus.
  • If you have to walk on roads where there is no sidewalk, walk against traffic and out of the road.
  • Stay out of the road and wait for the bus to stop before you walk to it.
  • Make sure you can see the bus driver’s eyes when boarding or crossing in front of the bus.
  • If you must cross the street to get to the bus, always look left, then right, then left again.
  • Use the handrail when you exit the bus.
  • Make sure there are no dangling pieces of clothing, drawstrings on hoods, untied shoestrings, key chains or backpack straps that could get caught on the handrail or in the bus door.
  • If you drop something under or near the bus, don’t pick it up until you tell the bus driver. Otherwise, the driver may not see you.
  • If you leave something on the bus, don’t run after the bus to get it.