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Hunter College Elementary School

School Services

Transportation

Welcome to the HCES Student Transportation Page.

At Hunter College Elementary School, the New York City Office of Pupil Transportation offers either a MetroCard or yellow bus service to our eligible students. 

For detailed information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Bus Registration
Q. Do I need to register my child every year for student transportation?
A. No. Once your child is registered, your child's registration rolls over into every school year.  If you would like to change your child's transportation information (change of bus route/stop, change to/from Metrocard), download and complete the Student Transportation Registration found on the transportation page.

Q. We aren’t ready to start riding the bus, but we want to eventually. How do we register when we’re ready?
A. You can make the switch at any time during the year. Simply complete the bus registration form on the main page of the HCES transportation page. Your request will be submitted to OPT.  Upon OPT approval (takes 1-3 days), you will be officially notified.  Next, meet the driver on your route and introduce your child. You can introduce your child to the driver around 2:30 p.m. outside HCES at 95th Street and Park Ave. (Arrange early dismissal that day with your teacher).

Q. Can my child ride different afternoon buses to accommodate his/her afterschool activities?
A. No. A child can be registered for only one afternoon bus. Also, students cannot ride a different bus for a play date.

Q. HCES’ bus stops aren’t that convenient for us. Are there private bus companies?
A. 
While HCES can’t endorse any particular company, there are a couple of companies that other parents have used in the past to set up a private bus run to and from school. If you need to contact families who use these services, contact Ms. Elena, and she will connect you with them. Some of the bus companies used by HCES families are:

All American Bus 718-932-1500
This company services Lower Manhattan.

Baker Bus 718-320-2523
Their runs start north and run south to Hunter. They do not service Lower Manhattan. The bus holds 20 children, and they service Washington Heights.

KidCarNY 212-862-7233
Services all areas of Manhattan.

Q. What is my child's NPSIS/Student ID number?
A. The Office of Pupil Transportation assigns registered school bus students with a Student ID number.   Contact The Office of Pupil Transportation at 718.392.8855 for your child's number. 
Bus Delays
Q. My child’s bus is late. How can I find out when the bus will arrive at my bus stop?
A. 
Call your child’s bus company directly. You must have your child’s bus # handy. The dispatcher will be able to radio the driver and determine the driver’s location. When you call the bus company, they may not answer immediately and/or put you on hold for an extended amount of time, but that is the only number we are provided, and it is the most capable way to retrieve the location of your bus.

The dispatcher’s phone number for your child’s bus can be found under the schedule for the respective bus route. Save this phone number on your mobile phone for expediency.

If this is unsuccessful, call the HCES Emergency Bus Phone at 917.443.2883. If your call is not answered immediately,please leave a message.  It's best to send a text message with the following information: child's name, child's bus route, child's bus stop location, and brief description of the issue (example: bus 20 minutes late).
Text Message Notifications
Q. How do I register to receive SMS emergency text messages?
A. Parents need to update their profiles on their My Hunter page.  Contact Elena van Schendel, Transportation Coordinator at ev51@hccs.hunter.cuny.edu.

Q. When will I receive a SMS text message?
A. If the bus breaks down, there is an emergency, or your child’s bus is seriously delayed, you will receive a text message.

Q. The bus is more than 20 minutes late, and I have not received a text message from the school yet. What should I do?
A. There is a chance the school has not been notified yet by the bus company. After contacting your child’s bus company and receiving confirmation of the bus’ current location, please call or text the school bus cell phone at 917.443.2883. A delay notification will be sent to the parents through a SMS text message, if possible.

Q. Can my caregiver receive SMS text message notifications also?
A. No. Only a child’s parents/guardian can be registered to receive a text message.
Bus Service
Q. Is there bus service on half days?
A. Yes. The Office of Pupil Transportation provides school bus service on half days. Buses depart HCES at 11:50 am on scheduled half-days. Parents should follow the usual pick-up procedures. Your child’s bus stop time on half days will be approximately three hours earlier the usual drop off time.
The Morning Bus
Q. When does the school bus start picking up the children?
A. The bus runs will officially begin pick-up and drop-off on the first day of school. The school recommends kindergarteners wait until the second or third week of school.  The bus stop time listed on your bus route’s schedule is tentative. In general, you should arrive ten minutes before the bus is due to arrive as a courtesy for your driver and the other families on your route.  After the first month, you will get to know the routine for your run and stop.

Q. What happens to the children once the bus gets to Hunter?
A. Public Safety Officers meet the school buses as they arrive each morning. The children are dropped off at the entrance to the Ron Brown playground on 95th Street. They are escorted into the playground, and HCES teachers are there to supervise them.

Q. Is there a way to contact the driver on my route directly if the bus is late or we’re running slightly late?
A. Your school bus driver has a radio, so his bus company can contact him. If you have an emergency that affects meeting the bus, call your child’s bus dispatcher. The phone number for your child’s bus route can be found under your bus route schedule. At the beginning of the year, please save this phone number in your mobile phone in the case of an emergency. The bus may wait for you up to 3 minutes, if the schedule allows.  If you make an effort to develop a good relationship with your driver, he may give you his cell phone number, but please keep in mind that it is a private cell phone; it is not one provided by the bus company. Your bus driver doesn’t have to give it out to parents. If he does, it is because he’s nice. Call only if you must.
The Afternoon Bus
Q. How do the children get to the bus after school?
A. All children are escorted to the buses by their teacher or assistant teacher to ensure that they get on the bus safely.

The bus driver will have a list of students and their respective stops. Nevertheless, please make sure that your child knows the stop at which he or she will be getting out. For children in the younger grades, attach a slip of paper inside the flap of their backpack with the bus route number, bus stop location, and an emergency contact name and phone number. Children will not be released from the bus unless the proper designee is at the stop.

Q. What if I only want my child to ride the afternoon bus on some days but not on others?
A. Your child’s classroom teacher dismisses students to the bus, pick-up, or Hawk’s Nest each day. It is your responsibility to clearly communicate to your classroom teacher which days your child will and will not ride the bus that week. It is also important to meet your bus driver, learn his name, and introduce your child.

Q. What if I have an emergency, and I can’t meet the afternoon bus when it comes to drop my child off?
A. 
Bus drivers will not release a child from the bus without an adult to meet him or her UNLESS you have given the driver written permission for the child to walk home alone. The driver will also not leave your child with another parent, even one at your bus stop.  If you or a caregiver is not going to be at the stop, you must call the school bus cell phone at 917.443.2883, and let them know you have an emergency.

The school will relay the message to the driver. The driver will not leave your child at the stop. Instead, the bus driver will finish his/her route, and bring your child back to Hunter at the end of his/her route. Your child will attend HCES’ after school program, Hawk’s Nest, until you can get to the school. Call the Hawk’s Nest office directly (212.860.1407) to communicate your estimated arrival time.

Q. Can my child ride on a different afternoon bus for play dates with other children?
A. No. Bus play dates are not permitted. The Office of Pupil transportation assigns each child a specific bus. Children must ride only on their registered school bus. Children who are not registered may not take the school bus.
MetroCards
Q. My child lost his/her MetroCard? How do I get a new card?
A. Send an email to Ms. van Schendel to request a replacement. Getting a new card may take a few days. Make sure that your child has another means of transportation to get to and from school in the meantime.

Q. Does my child’s MetroCard expire?
A. A student is issued a MetroCard per semester. A fall student MetroCard expires on January 31.  At the end of January, students will receive their spring MetroCard. Once your child is registered for a MetroCard, he/she will automatically receive the next semester’s MetroCard each year.

Q. Can I get a free MetroCard for my child and have my child ride the school bus, too?
A. No. The city provides transportation service for students on one or the other means of transport. Each eligible child is budgeted for Yellow Bus or MetroCard. If you get both, you are double dipping, and the school will be in violation of the system. This means a fine for Hunter. So choose one option, and if it does not work for you, you can make a change.
Inclement Weather
Q. It’s supposed to snow badly tomorrow. What should I know?
A. In the event of snow or very inclement weather, you can expect delays or problems, and on rare occasions, school cancellation. If school is delayed or closed, it will be posted on the Hunter College Campus School homepage.  HCES follows the NYC DOE weather-related school cancellations so if NYC schools are delayed or closed, so is HCES. 
Lost Items
Q. I think my child may have lost something on the bus. What do I do?
A. Please do your part to make sure your child has all of his/her belongings when he/she exits the bus. The school and your bus driver appreciate your effort to help develop this very important habit and responsibility. If your child does lose a belonging on the bus, please ask your driver directly if he has the belonging. You may also check the school’s lost and found. Always label your child’s jacket, gloves, hats, waterbottles, etc.