Transportation Update 2022-23

Transportation Update

Dear SPS Families,

We look forward to welcoming students to the first day of school!

Families with students who are eligible for transportation services will have their routes mailed to their home address the week of August 31.

As shared with you this spring, the transportation challenges our district experienced in the 2021-22 school year remain. That means this fall, some SPS bus routes will not be in effect for the start of school. Families of routes that will not be in service will receive a notification before the start of school.

This year, we have two transportation vendors that will provide services for SPS students—First Student and Zum. Both are outside companies that provide school buses and transportation services. Seattle Public Schools does not own or operate school buses.

School districts across the country are experiencing a bus driver shortage and we are seeing similar challenges in Seattle. Also, the number of bus routes needed to provide transportation services for a two-tier bell schedule increases the need for more drivers.

Both companies have robust recruiting efforts, and we are optimistic that those efforts will help contribute to a long-term solution.

What is the long-term plan?

SPS Transportation and Operations staff will continue to work with schools, families, and partners as we get ready for the start of school.

First Student and Zum are working to recruit more school bus drivers. Once our partners are fully staffed with more drivers, we will add back bus routes as quickly as possible.

We know this solution is far from perfect, and we are doing everything we can to minimize disruption. Families who will not have bus service for the start of school may feel frustrated and upset. We are committed to making sure that all students who need it have safe and dependable transportation to and from school. We hope that the driver shortages will be resolved quickly so we can resume all bus service.

What can you expect from us?

Families of students who are eligible for transportation services will receive additional information about what to expect for transportation services for the 2022-23 school year and the start of school.

Route information will be mailed to your home address. Please let us know through our Let’s Talk link below if you have not received your route information.

Additional transportation options

Free Metro Bus Service for Students

Starting September 1, 2022, all riders 18 and younger can ride King County Metro, Sound Transit’s Link light rail system, and many other regional transit services for FREE!

SPS students ride Puget Sound transit for free thanks to Move Ahead Washington, a statewide transportation funding package. Visit Free Youth Transit Pass for more information.

Walk, Bike, and Roll to School

Our transportation webpage has many suggestions and resources for students who are looking for additional ways to get to and from school. Families can find safe walking routes to school, community resources for free and low-cost helmets or bikes, and much more. Visit the SPS Transportation webpage for information.

How to share concerns and feedback

If you have questions or comments, please share them with us on our Let’s Talk feedback form.

We read and consider every message.


Fred Podesta
Assistant Superintendent of Operations
Seattle Public Schools

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