Dear Gigi,

Good morning. I wanted to know if the school has buses for the kids. My son is starting 6th grade at a new school and I have a baby at home. If I drop the baby at daycare, and the 6th grader at his school, I'll be late to work. Can my older child get a yellow school bus?


Dear Beatriz,

A child in NYC schools may be eligible for yellow school bus service based on the distance from school, grade level or other factors. A 6th grader who lives 1.5 miles or more may be eligible for a yellow bus or a MetroCard.

The first thing you need is a NYC Schools account so you can add your preferred mode of transportation. To set it up you’ll need your son's account creation code (which is typically sent home in a letter), and student ID, a nine-digit number issued to all students who attend a NYC public school, also known as the OSIS number.

If you do not have a student ID, you can email the Family Welcome Center, (which I did on your behalf. They got back to me that same day. What a joy! The FWC asked for your name and your photo ID, and your child's name, birthdate and birth certificate).

Now, on to the school’s activation code if you don’t have one. You can look up your school at InsideSchools or MySchools and contact the parent coordinator (or the person in a similar role) and ask for a follow-up. They may ask you to come in to finish the creation of the NYC Schools Account or schedule a tele-conference to confirm your child’s identity and yours.

At this point, it will be up to the school to decide whether your child is eligible for school busing. If they say he is not eligible for a yellow bus, your child will receive a Metrocard to use on the bus and train if the distance is far enough.

It’s a busy time of year. The school may not answer right away. It’s worth contacting them again if a few days have passed.

Good luck.