SCHOOL BUS ADVICE courtesy of Parents to Improve School Transportation* updated Oct. 2016
(1) If your child is on a bus longer than is allowed, always file a complaint with OPT.
Maximum times your child is allowed to spend on special education transportation, by age:
EI (early intervention, 0-3) 60 minutes in borough, 90 out of borough.
CPSE (Preschool, 3-5) 75 minutes in borough, 105 minutes out of borough
CSE (Kindergarten and up) 90 minutes in borough, 115 minutes out of borough (…of course it's even shorter if you have Limited Time Travel as a Special Transportation Accommodation on the IEP. You must apply for this with a form signed by an MD and a HIPAA form).
(2) WHERE TO COMPLAIN (A LOT): OPT (718-392-8855)
State all of the issues: missing first period, the bus going to several locations with the same Pickup and Dropoff time, getting home after 5 PM, when the bus arrives in the AM, rude and or in-experienced bus team, faulty equipment, bus taking the long way to avoid tolls etc.
Keep a log of complaint dates and details. Write down each complaint #. MAKE THESE PHONE CALLS ON A DAILY BASIS (our experience has been they need to have several complaints before you get taken seriously).
Then contact the Borough Manager of OPT for where the school is located. ‘Customer Service’ can not make changes, but the borough managers can.
Manhattan (interim acting): James Campbell (718) 482-6299 JCampbell8@schools.nyc.gov
The Bronx: Seth Brown (718) 482-3850 SBrown14@schools.nyc.gov
Brooklyn: Diane Beediahram (718) 482 3769 DBeediahram@schools.nyc.gov
Queens: Frank Jackson (718) 482-3763 FJackson@schools.nyc.gov
Staten Island: James Campbell (718) 482-6299 JCampbell8@schools.nyc.gov
Pre-K: Shelia Lucious Lowe email@example.com 718 707 6909
Director of OPT: Alexandra Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO of OPT: Eric Goldstein email@example.com
Ariana Jaffe (Special Education Compliance Liaison) AJaffe5@schools.nyc.gov
When emailing, copy firstname.lastname@example.org and any advocates you are familiar with. District 75 parents copy D75Council@schools.nyc.gov, other special education parents copy email@example.com
You should also call your city council rep or the Public Advocate. They all have someone on staff to handle Board of Education issues.
http://www.pubadvocate.nyc.gov/Help [Note: PA began a lawsuit about air conditioning on the school bus.]
FIND YOUR COUNCIL MEMBER HERE:
Inform the office of Council Member I. Daneek Miller if you are experiencing problems with your bus team. http://council.nyc.gov/d27/html/members/home.shtml
(3) For legal defense of PORTER SERVICE, check http://pistnyc.org/resources-for-families-in-the-fight-for-porter-service.aspx or call Atty. Gary Mayerson at 212-265-7200
(4) Urge Gov. Cuomo to sign NYS legislation A.8019C / S.5429C on Employee Protection Provisions to retain experienced school bus personnel, which passed both houses in summer 2016, at https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help getting a personal/organizational letter directly to his office.
*This is printed by: Parents to Improve School Transportation (PIST NYC on Facebook), and includes comments from Common Sense Busing and the Facebook page New York City Parents Fed Up with Transportation Troubles
PARA CONSEJOS EN ESPANOL, LLAME AL COMITE TIMON 347-557-2509