A First Student yellow bus waiting to transport students.

Transportation

Phone: 518-475-6170 | Fax: 518-475-6172 
Harriet Gibbons Student Services Center
75 Watervliet Ave., Albany, NY 12206

The City School District of Albany transports all eligible students -- those who live 1.5 miles or more from their school -- either by First Student Inc., yellow bus or Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) bus.

Eligible elementary-school children are transported via yellow bus. The district provides a CDTA bus pass, also known as a swiper card, to eligible middle- and high-school students.

The City School District of Albany transports all eligible students -- those who live 1.5 miles or more from their school -- either by First Student Inc., yellow bus or Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) bus.

Eligible elementary-school children are transported via yellow bus. The district provides a CDTA bus pass, also known as a swiper card, to eligible middle- and high-school students.

General-education students

General-education students are eligible for transportation if:

  • the school they attend is 1.5 miles or more from their legal residence,

  • they live in a district-designated transportation zone or a child-safety zone, or

  • no CDTA routes are available in their area.

Special-education students

Special-education students will receive transportation when their residence is less than 1.5 miles from their school and if their Individual Education Plan (IEP) requires it.

Child-care transportation

A student may be transported to and from a child-care provider if the provider's location is 1.5 miles or more from the school the student attends. Parents must request such transportation in writing. Applications are available at the school your child attends. Requests cannot be taken over the telephone.

Open enrollment and magnet schools

Students in elementary school in the district's open-enrollment and magnet-school programs will be transported on yellow buses if their open enrollment or magnet school is more than 1.5 miles from their residence.

Private, parochial and charter schools

Eligible private, parochial and charter-school students will be provided transportation in the same manner as public-school students if the private, parochial or charter school they attend is within the district's boundaries. Parents are asked to make such requests in writing by April 1 of the current school year to be in effect for the following school year.

The application form for non-public transportation is available here.

The district will make every attempt to honor late transportation requests.

At the start of each new school year, City School District of Albany families that have moved since the end of the previous school year, are new to a district school, or have children leaving the district for a private, parochial or charter schools need to fill out and return school bus transportation forms.

You need to complete an application if:

  • Your family moved. You will need to change the address in person at the district’s Central Registration Office located at 75 Watervliet Ave. You can complete a transportation application at that time.
  • Your child changed schools. You will need to complete and return a new transportation application if your child is changing from a neighborhood school to a magnet school, changing from a magnet school to a neighborhood school, or attending a different elementary or middle school through open enrollment.
  • Your child attends before- or after-school child care.
  • The location changed where your child will be picked up and dropped off.

You don’t need to complete an application if:

  • You live at the same address;
  • Your child will attend the same school in September as he or she did in 2018-19; or
  • Your child is moving up from elementary to middle school or middle to high school.

For more information, call the Transportation Department at (518) 475-6170.

The City School District of Albany partners with the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA) to provide bus transportation for eligible students in middle school and high school. 

Students can ride all CDTA bus lines that operate in Albany, including CDTA “tripper” buses that serve our secondary schools. 

You can find all of this information and more on CDTA’s website. If you have questions about the schedule for CDTA tripper buses or regular routes, please contact CDTA at (518) 482-8822.

Ensuring students arrive to school safely is a big job, and it's one the district takes very seriously. The district strives to provide its students with safe, reliable and efficient transportation. The district contracts with First Student Inc., to provide bus transportation to eligible elementary children.

Each school day, the district oversees the transportation of nearly 5,000 children on both First Student yellow buses and CDTA vehicles. These buses travel to 80 schools -- 38 public and charter schools in Albany, as well as 42 BOCES, Questar and private schools throughout the Capital Region.

An in-depth look at bus safety and guidelines is available here.

State law requires Albany parents whose children will attend a non-public school to submit to the district a written request for transportation by April 1 of the previous school year -- in this case, April 1, 2018, for the 2018-19 school year. Click here to download a request form. The purpose of this deadline is to enable districts to budget funds and make necessary arrangements to provide reasonable and economical transportation. This applies to students who will attend private, parochial and charter schools.

For non-public-school students who move into the city after the April 1 deadline, parents must submit a written request for transportation within 30 days after establishing residency. In order to qualify for transportation, students must meet the requirements under the district’s Transportation Policy. Requests should be mailed to:

Denise Towne

Director of Transportation

City School District of Albany

75 Watervliet Avenue

Albany, NY 12206

For more information, contact the Transportation Department at (518) 475-6170.

Discounted CDTA bus passes are available to all City School District of Albany staff members as well as for students who live closer to school than 1.5 miles and are not eligible for free CDTA transportation to and from school.

District staff members and non-eligible students can receive a 10 percent discount on standard CDTA rates. To purchase a discounted pass, staff members will need a district pay stub that is less than a month old. Parents and guardians of students can pick up a Proof of Enrollment form from our Transportation Department that can be used to qualify for a discounted pass. You also can download the form for students. However, please note that a signature from a Transportation staff member is required on the Proof of Enrollment form for students.

Once you have that documentation, the passes can be purchased at the CDTA Customer Service Center. The center is located at 85 Watervliet Avenue, just down the street from the district’s Harriet Gibbons Student Services Center at 75 Watervliet Ave., which is where district Transportation offices are located.

CDTA’s Customer Service Center is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can call ahead with questions at (518) 437-6875 or (518) 482-8822. You can contact the district Transportation Department at (518) 475-6170.

Discounted passes are limited to one pass per account and can be purchased for up to three months. The discount is available as a benefit through the district’s transportation partnership with CDTA.

How does my child get to school?

The City School District of Albany transports all eligible students -- those who live 1.5 miles or more from their school -- either by yellow bus or Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) bus.

Eligible elementary-school children are transported via yellow bus, operated by First Student Inc. The district provides a CDTA bus pass, also known as a swiper card, to eligible middle- and high-school students.

Who is First Student?

First Student is the company that provides the district with yellow-bus transportation. First Student is a national company and a leader in school transportation across North America.

Learn more about First Student here.

How does CDTA transport middle- and high-school students?

The district swiper card is accepted on all CDTA buses and valid during the school year. It allows students to ride the bus Monday-Friday from the time CDTA service begins (most routes start between 5-6 a.m.) and provides transportation to after-school programs anywhere in the city.

Students must have their passes with them at all times and will be required to swipe their card through the fare box to get on a CDTA bus. If a student does not have a pass when boarding a CDTA bus, he or she will be required to pay the appropriate fare to complete the trip. The current one-way fare is $1.50.

Students must report the loss of a pass to the school district immediately. Applications to replace lost passes may be found at each school. There is a fee to replace a bus pass. Damaged or invalid cards may be exchanged for a replacement.

How do I find out what bus route my child is on?

During the last week in August, parents receive a letter from the City School District of Albany Transportation Department that lists important information such as their child's name, address, bus route number and school bus pickup site.

If any information in this letter is incorrect, please inform the Transportation Department (475-6170) as soon as possible. During the first few days of school, it would be helpful for students to use the letter as a pass to board the yellow bus until the driver becomes familiar with his/her riders.

How does the Transportation Department plan bus routes?

All bus routes and pickup times are scheduled according to the information provided in student transportation request applications.

If your residence has changed, you must update that information at the district's Central Registration office, located at 75 Watervliet Ave., in the former Harriet Gibbons High School building.

Where is my child's bus stop?

School bus pick-up and drop-off sites are designated neighborhood sites. If you do not receive a letter in August from the Transportation Department indicating where your child will be pick up and dropped off from school, please call 475-6170.

What if my child misbehaves on the bus?

The district expects that all students will conduct themselves properly on all school-related transportation. Pupils who are disorderly or insubordinate (disobey school-bus safety rules) may have their riding privileges suspended. Repeat offenders may have their riding privileges permanently revoked. In such cases, the parents or guardians become responsible for getting their children to and from school.

When riding CDTA buses, students are expected to follow CDTA rules and regulations and are subject to the CDTA Code of Conduct, which outlines expected behavior for all riders and ensures that everyone receives the best service possible.

The Code of Conduct can be found online at cdta.org.

Who are the crossing guards?

Our crossing guards work for the Albany Police Department. The school works closely with the police department to ensure proper crossing-guard coverage of any routes our students travel.