Transportation » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

When a student registers for school in Columbia County, we assume that he/she will ride the bus. This year, nearly 14,000 students are taking advantage of this free service provided by the Board of Education. Bus routes are reviewed and revised to safely accommodate the transportation needs of a growing student population. Listed below are frequently asked question (FAQ's) about Columbia County School Bus Transportation.

Who can ride the bus?

Georgia State law specifies that transportation must be provided for students who live more than 1 1/2 miles from their home school. Any students who reside within the 1 1/2 miles are required to walk or provide their own transportation to school, unless the 1 1/2 mile area is considered unsafe or dangerous.

What if a student lives within the 1 1/2 miles school radius, and the road traveled is considered to be an unsafe? Does CCBOE provide transportation?

CCBOE provides as a courtesy, bus service for students in grade K-8, who live in an area that is within 1 1/2 miles from school and considered unsafe or dangerous. While high school students are not eligible for courtesy bus service, transportation may be provided in HIGH hazard areas on a space available basis. Coordination with the school is required.

What is the maximum number of students on a bus?

The standard school bus has a seating capacity of 3 students per seat or 66 students. For middle and high school students, CCBOE's preferred seating capacity is 2 students per seat or 44 students. State law permits school buses to operate up to a 20% overload (79 students).

How are bus stops determined?

The Department of Transportation uses the EDULOG software program to determine required bus stops. EDULOG considers bus seating capacity, students data, and zoning information, and safety variables during processing. Georgia State policy directs a school district to plan stops at no more that 1/2 mile between bus stops. CCBOE attempts to plan bus stops each 1/10 of a mile. Some road/neighborhood conditions require bus stops to exceed that planned distance; but, all remain within the State's 1/2 mile directive.

What should students do if the bus does not show up on time?

We recommend students be at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the scheduled pickup time, and wait at least 10 minutes beyond the regularly scheduled time before assuming a bus delay, or mechanical breakdown has occurred. If a delay beyond 10 minutes is expected, schools affected by the delay will be immediately notified. Please note that the Department of Transportation always dispatches a backup bus in the event of a mechanical breakdown. Students should remain at the bus stop until the backup bus arrives.

Can a student ride a different bus in the afternoon to go home with a friend or babysitter?

In order for any child to ride a bus other than their assigned bus, the following procedures must be followed:

FIVE SCHOOL DAYS OR LESS: The parent should send two notes to the school explaining the situation; one is for the classroom teacher, and one is for the bus driver.

MORE THAN FIVE SCHOOL DAYS: The parent should send a written request to the Department of Transportation by mail at CCBOE Department of Transportation, 1721 Blanchard Drive, Appling GA 30813, or FAX (706)855-3852. This request must include the dates and the reason for the change, the parent's name, mailing address, and phone number.

NOTE: All approvals will be based on space available on the assigned bus.

For other questions related to bus transportation, please call the Department of Transportation at (706) 541-2729.