For the 2021–22 school year, IPS is updating the ways in which students get to and from school: walking, riding an IPS yellow bus, or using IndyGo.
Because of significantly high transportation costs per pupil, coupled with several factors related to COVID-19 and a $15 million district shortfall, IPS has developed a strategic approach to maximize funding that doesn’t negatively affect classrooms.
IPS is executing the walk zone policy for K–12 students at all schools (the district began enforcing its walk zone policy during the 2020-21 school year at 13 schools). Additionally the district is looking to transition some high school students from IPS yellow bus to IndyGo. District administration presented a proposal to the IPS Board of School Commissioners on March 25 that would allow select high school students to ride IndyGo as their sole means of transportation to and from school.
Families who will be affected by these decisions will receive a letter regarding their student’s 2021–22 transportation designation.
More information about all three transportation options can be found below.
Read more about transportation shifts and the district’s partnership with IndyGo HERE.
Virtual Transportation Town Halls (hosted on Zoom, registration required):
- 6 p.m., Monday, April 12. (Session will cover IPS walk zones and IndyGo.)
- 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 14. (Session will cover IPS walk zones only.)
- 6 p.m., Thursday, April 15. (Session will cover IndyGo only.)
This page will be updated frequently as more decisions are made.
Beginning with the 2021–22 school year, IPS will execute the walk zone policy at all IPS K-12 schools.
Families affected by this change will be contacted directly by the district and informed that their student(s) are ineligible for transportation services and will be assigned the “walker” designation for their transportation status.
Notices sent to families will be based on their current address and are compliant with the current IPS walk zone policy. There will also be several opportunities for families and students to engage with district administration about these changes.
Who are considered walkers?
- Children are classified as a walker if the following conditions are met:
- K-6 students who reside 1 mile or less from their school.
- 7-8 students who reside 1.25 miles or less from their school.
- 9-12 students who reside 1.5 miles or less from their school.
- Transportation may be provided for students who live within the walking distance guidelines when physical barriers prevent safe travel to school (i.e. busy intersections) or required because of a qualifying medical condition of the student.
- To request a walk zone exemption for your student, please complete the form below.
- Transportation is determined by your home address. Families will be notified before the end of the 2020-21 school year of their 2021-22 transportation designation.
- Your child can be picked up at their childcare address if: a) your childcare address is within the same boundary as your home address; and b) your childcare address is within distance guidelines for transportation service.
- It is very important that students only use authorized bus stops. Bus drivers are not authorized to assign or change bus stops. Bus stop change requests should be directed to Transportation at 317.226.4000.
- Drivers are instructed to deliver the students to the same bus stop where they boarded the bus. Buses are only to stop at the authorized stops on designated routes.
- For those eligible, all bus stops shall be within .3 mile of a student’s home for elementary and middle school students and .7 mile for high school students.
Who are considered IndyGo bus riders?
(Based on the 2021-22 proposal)
- IPS has selected students in Grades 9–12 at the district high schools to transition to IndyGo.
- Select students from Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, Emmerich Manual, George Washington, Graduation Academy, KIPP Indy Legacy, Newcomer Program @ Northwest Middle School, Shortridge and Thrival Academy will be selected to transition to IndyGo as their primary service for transportation to and from school. (Students at Herron, Riverside and Purdue Polytechnic already use IndyGo as an option for transportation to and from school and were not previously transported using yellow bus service).
- Selected students will transition to IndyGo as their sole means of transportation to and from school.
- District-issued student ID cards for these students will be embedded annually with a FREE electronic bus pass.
- Eligibility criteria for students affected by the transition include:
- Zero IndyGo bus transfers
- Less than .7-mile total walk
- No more than 50 minutes total travel time. (We anticipate that the average total travel time for eligible students will be 25 minutes.)
- In addition to selected students, families will be able to opt-in to the IndyGo transition (details to come). All other students will receive IPS yellow bus service as their sole means of transportation.
- Using IndyGo provides IPS high school students the added benefit of greater mobility to navigate throughout the city while gaining new skills and independence as they move toward their postsecondary plans.
- This includes using their school-issued ID cards to commute to and from school, work and extracurricular activities, or simply to explore the city’s offerings and attractions.