A Fixed Price for School Transportation

Families with students in grades K-9 living in the 1-mile walk zone and students in grades 10-12 living in the 2-mile walk zone may elect not to walk and instead, pay for their child(ren) to ride the bus. The Johnston Community School District and STA offer an optional pay-to-ride student transportation program.

Paid ridership is based on a space-available, or open-seats only, basis. This means that if there are seats available on a bus route, transportation will be provided for a fee of $250 per semester. The decision for offering any available seats will be done so using a distance rubric for families (i.e. furthest from school receive first consideration).

Are You Eligible To Ride The Bus At No Cost?

  • All students in grades K-9 who live more than 1 mile from their school are eligible. Eligible students in grades 10-12 must live more than 2 miles from Johnston High School.
  • If your home is located in your child’s school’s identified “hazard” area, you are eligible for transportation at no cost.
  • If a Special Education student has an IEP which specifies specially designed transportation service, they would be eligible for no-cost transportation services regardless of where the student’s home is located.

Are You Eligible To Ride The Bus For A Fee? Note: Payment required prior to being added to a route.

  • Families may be eligible for paid ridership on a space-available, or open-seats only, basis. A distance rubric (i.e. furthest from school receive first consideration) will be created to determine priority and eligibility of those wishing to purchase a seat, if available. This distance is based solely on the student’s primary home address, not the pick up or drop off location (including daycare sites).

Paid Ridership Program Details

  • The paid ridership program is provided on a distance rubric and space-available, open-seats-only basis. Participation is limited according to capacity.
  • The distance to the student’s school, and therefore eligibility, will be determined by the primary home address, not the pick up or drop off location (including daycare sites).
  • The program is only available on existing bus routes. No additional routes or bus stops will be considered for pay-to-ride students.
  • Stops may be eliminated based on neighborhood participation.
  • Bus stop locations and times are assigned by Student Transportation of America.
  • Students must be picked up and dropped off at their assigned location(s) only.
  • Requests for a change in a student’s bus stop will only be honored if the student’s address has changed.
  • No guest students/riders will be allowed to ride along with students on any bus.
  • Transportation for children attending preschool in the district is not provided unless the child has special needs and has been pre-identified for transportation at no cost.
  • Students who attend a district-placed alternative learning facility, such as Woodward Academy, will continue to receive transportation services at no charge.
  • For students residing in multiple households, they will be allowed up to two pick up locations and two drop off locations within their school attendance area.
  • A pro-rated refund will be granted if a student voluntarily discontinues riding and the request for a refund is made prior to the half-way point of the semester.
  • No refunds will be granted after the halfway point of the semester, and no refunds will be granted for any other circumstances.
  • The deadline for Pay-to-Ride Transportation registration will be adhered to by the Johnston Community School District.
  • A full refund will be issued to families if there is no space available on their designated bus.
  • All students riding the bus are subject to the rules and regulations of conduct and safety established by the Johnston Community School District.

Payment and Fees for Service

  • All payments must be made in advance on a per-semester basis.
  • The district will follow State guidelines for free- and reduced-price lunch students.

Fees: Pay-to-Ride, Round-trip Service

  • Each full-price student, per semester $250.00.
  • Each reduced-fee student, per semester $115.00.

Busing for Special Education Students

  • Special Education students have the same busing rules as general education students unless their IEP specifies specially designed transportation service.
  • IEP teams (of which parents are included) determine if the nature and severity of the disability requires specially designed transportation.
  • Students with specially designed transportation need to have an authorized parent meet them in the afternoon. Depending on the nature of the disability and the age of the child, written permission allowing a student to disembark without a parent present will be required.

Involuntary Transfer

  • Students who (involuntary) transfer to another school will be responsible for their own transportation to their regularly-zoned elementary school or master stop, where they will take a shuttle to the school they attend. The district-provided shuttle will be at no cost. These shuttle bus routes should only affect morning transportation as afternoon transportation has been adjusted to remove shuttle transfers.

Developmental Kindergarten

Students in the developmental kindergarten (DK) program will be provided transportation as follows:

  • For students attending the morning session of DK, those living within the 1-mile walk zone of their regularly-zoned elementary school will be responsible for getting to that school where they will then take a district-provided shuttle to the designated DK site. All morning DK students will then be bussed home mid-day, regardless of their distance from the designated site, at no charge.
  • For students attending the afternoon session of DK, they will be bussed mid-day to the designated site at no cost, regardless of their proximity to the school. After school, they will be bused directly to a designated bus stop in their neighborhood.

Application Process

Paid Ridership in the 2023-24 school year will open in July 2023.

Apply for Paid Ridership in 2023-24

Fees must be prepaid online via Infinite Campus or mailed to the Johnston Community School District ATTN: Transportation Manager, PO Box 10, Johnston IA 50131. The fee must be paid prior to being placed on a bus. If no seats are available a refund will be issued.