FAQ


GENERAL QUESTIONS

Doesn't the school district already provide busing?  

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) dropped its school bus program in 2007 due to lack of funding. Only special needs students receive District busing now. With state budget cuts in education, there simply isn't funding available for the high cost of transportation. That money has been diverted to the classroom. 


Will TRAFFIX also serve special needs students?  

Yes, however when transportation services are called for in an Individual Education Plan (IEP), these services are provided by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. 


When will bus service run?  

For the 2018 - 2019 School Year, service will begin on the first day of the school year, August 13, 2018, and end on the last day of school, May 31, 2018.


 How were the schools chosen for bus service? 

A traffic engineering firm conducted a comprehensive study of major intersections throughout the San Ramon Valley. The intersections were ranked by their congestion during peak morning and afternoon traffic periods related to nearby schools. Parents at all SRVUSD schools were surveyed to measure their willingness to participate in a busing program. The schools were then ranked by how much traffic congestion they caused and how likely their parents were to buy a pass and have their kids ride.

Based on these factors, TRAFFIX selected seven schools for service in the 2009-2010 school year that showed the greatest chance to reduce traffic congestion: Los Cerros and Pine Valley middle schools; Country Club, Green Valley,Walt Disney, Neil Armstrong and Vista Grande elementary schools.  In subsequent studies, California and Monte Vista high schools were selected for service in the 2012-13 school year to reduce traffic congestion.  Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, Coyote Creek elementary school and San Ramon Valley High School were added to the TRAFFIX fleet service.


With a District this large, why are only eleven schools getting service?

The money available through Measure J is only enough to operate the 23 buses TRAFFIX has in its fleet. Even with that many buses, it is necessary to serve all the middle schools first, then use the same buses to go to the elementary schools. These service "tiers" allow us to serve more students and are necessary to get the most service out of the buses we have.


Is the school district operating the buses?

No. SRVUSD does not have the funding or equipment to run the service. TRAFFIX conducted a formal bidding process to hire a private bus operator that would provide the greatest reliability, experience and safety at the most competitive rate.  First Student, a nationally-recognized student transportation operator was selected to operate the TRAFFIX service. This made it possible to provide new buses, routing and service for the funding we have.


How safe are the buses?

School buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road today. Our buses are fully equipped with lap-shoulder seat belts, steel reinforced frames, GPS and video monitoring to ensure your child's safety. All TRAFFIX Buses are equipped with cameras for video monitoring.

According to National Safety Council Statistics, School buses are 172 times safer than passenger cars in terms of occupant deaths per 100 million passenger miles traveled. In fact, school buses rank much better than any other form of surface transportation. 


How safe are the drivers?

Our operator, First Student, is a nationwide leader with an unparalleled safety record. All First Student drivers undergo a rigorous training, certification and supervision process that has kept First Student a national leader in student safety.  These drivers are focused professionals - your child's safety is their number one concern.


How much does it cost?   

The Annual price for a Regular TRAFFIX Bus Pass for 2017-2018 is $335. All High School Bus Passes at California High, Monte Vista High, and San Ramon Valley High are sold at the Regular Rate.

Elementary and Middle School Parents who purchase their TRAFFIX Bus Pass during the promotional period between April and June 2018 can buy their pass at a discounted rate of only $260. That's about $1.45 per day - much cheaper than the cost of driving a car*. 

TRAFFIX may also offer specials throughout the year, particularly during the summer and holidays.

*The IRS currently rates the cost of driving an average priced/sized passenger vehicle at 54.5 cents per mile.  


Why do we have to pay?   

Without a contribution from parents, Measure J funding will not cover the full cost of servicing eleven schools. And without service in these areas, we can't reduce traffic congestion enough to justify taxpayer support of the program. 


How does the price of a TRAFFIX pass compare to other school bus programs?

At the $335 Regular Rate, an Annual TRAFFIX Bus Pass is significantly less than in comparable communities. 

The promotional rate offered by TRAFFIX to middle and elementary school students of $260 is nearly half that of the closest comparable program.

The Lamorinda School Bus Program charges $504 annually. Marin Transit charges $591 annually. In Palo Alto parents pay $1,050 per year for an annual bus pass.  


Are there one-way passes available or discounts for multi-child families?

TRAFFIX doesn't offer one-way passes or additional discounts beyond the promotional rates. We have already discounted our round-trip pass to be less than a one-way pass or multi-child discount in other programs. We need to keep the program simple and streamlined so it can be run with minimal administrative staffing and expense. 


What if my growing neighborhood begins to contribute to traffic congestion, will my student be eligible for service? 

Service and specific routes are re-evaluated each school year. 


What are TRAFFIX notifications?

Notifications are an important part of TRAFFIX communication for the parents and riders.  Please log into your account and verify your email addresses and cell phone numbers to receive text messages. If your student has a cell number and would like to receive urgent notifications, please include that number as well.

Urgent Notifications are sent by Email and Text Message

  • Late buses
  • Combined buses

Non-urgent communications are sent by Email, through TRAFFIX Communications

  • Schedule updates (minimum days, no school days, etc.)
  • Reminders of Safety and Discipline rules
  • Reminders of pass sale dates
  • Customer Surveys
  • TRAFFIX e-Newsletters

School Administration is immediately notified of late buses. In the event the bus is late to school, students are not marked tardy.  When buses routes are combined at the school site, the drivers work with the students and on-site administration to ensure they board the proper bus.  No student will be left behind.  If a mechanical breakdown occurs, a replacement bus will always be available for back up as soon as possible.


What is CSA T-1?

County Service Area T-1 (CSA T-1) was formed on September 14, 2005 as a dependent special district of the County to provide transit services to the Alamo Creek and Monterosso communities in the Tassajara Valley. 

With assistance from CSA T-1, TRAFFIX has added two 56-seat buses (MV-19 and MV-19A).

Homeowners within the CSA T-1 communities cited above who attend Monte Vista High School are offered the first opportunity to purchase TRAFFIX Bus Passes for their students.


Is TRAFFIX able to provide an “A” Period bus for high school students who elect to take the early class?

TRAFFIX is a traffic congestion relief agency primarily funded through the Contra Costa Measure J ½-cent Transportation Sales Tax. TRAFFIX is unique from a traditional home-to-school school bus program in that Its purpose is to relieve traffic congestion at the busiest times of the day which is during regular school drop-off and pick-ups times. TRAFFIX currently has a 23-bus fleet with six buses serving Monte Vista High School and one bus each at San Ramon Valley and California High Schools. As the Program’s primary funding source (Measure J) is limited and is required to primarily serve as a congestion reduction program, expansion of the fleet and/or running routes that serve off-peak times of travel is not possible at this time. More specifically, TRAFFIX is not able to provide service from East Danville to Monte Vista High School for “A” Period students (during a less-congested time of day) due to several additional factors including round trip distances and travel time limitations.


PASSES

How do I buy a pass?

If you are new to TRAFFIX, you will need to go to the Buy A Pass page on the day passes go on sale and fill out the registration form. Then use a Visa, Master Card, American Express or Discover Card to buy the pass. Passes are pro-rated throughout the school year. 

Bus Passes must be purchased through the TRAFFIX website to ensure students are properly registered for the program. Under no circumstances may a bus pass be purchased from or shared with another rider.

The cost is $335 for High School Bus Passes. TRAFFIX is running a Spring pass promotion for Elementary and Middle School students of $260 through June 15,2018. 

If you have already purchased a bus pass from TRAFFIX in the past, log in to your account and go to the Buy A Pass page. If you are registering a new student for the TRAFFIX Bus, you will need to Add a Student on the day passes go on sale to register your student. New customers cannot register in advance, since each registration is tied to a transaction to ensure proper registration for each seat on the bus.


When will I receive my student's pass?

TRAFFIX Bus Passes are produced and mailed offsite. They contain your Student's Name, Route Number and a unique TRAFFIX Identification Number. Bus passes for customers who pay in advance are produced and mailed in August, prior to the start of the school year.

For new riders who purchase passes after the start of the school year, passes are produced and mailed at the end of each month. If your student is new to TRAFFIX , feel free to email manager@ridetraffix.com to see when your student's pass is expected to be produced and mailed. 

If for some reason you do not receive a bus pass, it's always a good idea to check your account at http://ridetraffix.com to make sure that the address you provided when filling out the online form is correct. 


Though your bus driver will have your student's name on the roster for your respective route, you should give your student a copy of your receipt to show the driver when boarding the bus if they do not have their bus pass. You must order a replacement pass if your student loses or misplaces their pass.


Can my child begin riding right away?

For the current 2017-2018 school year, your student may begin riding as soon as you purchase a TRAFFIX Bus Pass. When you purchase your student's pass, you'll get an email receipt. Please print your receipt for your student to show the bus driver until you receive your bus pass.


Do kids need to show a pass to board the bus?

Yes. All riders need to have their TRAFFIX pass with them whenever they ride the bus, even if the driver already knows them.


What if my child loses the bus pass?

You need to buy a replacement pass on the website for $10.00. Your email receipt will allow your child to continue riding until the replacement arrives.  Print a copy for your child to show the driver.  


Do you pro-rate the price of the pass during the year?

Yes. If you move to the area mid-year or you just decide to try the bus after the school year starts, you'll pay a pro-rated price for the time left in the school year.


Do you sell single use or weekly passes?

No. TRAFFIX is a traffic congestion relief program and to maintain our funding we have to get cars off the road. Occasional riders do not help us relieve traffic in any significant way. We also can't afford to spend money staffing an office to sell day passes, and risk overloading buses for our regular riders. We want to put as much money into service as we can, and as little as necessary into overhead.


Can I get a refund?

There are only three (3) circumstances in which TRAFFIX can offer a refund:

1) If you move or if your child is transferred to a different school, we will refund the unused portion of your pass. TRAFFIX must be notified within thirty (30) days of a school transfer or relocation for you to be eligible for a refund.

2) If you are assigned to an already sold-out route prior to the start of school, we will issue a pro-rated refund to give another student an opportunity to ride the bus. Note that 60 days before the end of a school year, no refunds will be issued.

3) In some instances, transaction errors may occur during the busy period of Spring pass sales. If you purchased multiple passes for the same student during the 2018-2019 school year, you will be able to receive a refund as long as you provide your duplicate receipts and they are verified. Refunds will be issued within 35 days of verification by the TRAFFIX Manager.

Please note these are the only circumstances under which TRAFFIX can grant a refund.

BUS OPERATIONS

When does the bus arrive at school?

All routes are timed to arrive at school 5-10 minutes before the morning bell.


When does the bus leave school?

All buses are scheduled to depart school 7-10 minutes after the afternoon bell. Minimum Day schedules may vary for the first and last day of school.


What about Wednesdays and Conference Days?

There are separate schedules for Regular Days, Wednesdays, and Minimum Days for all routes posted on the website. Go to the page for your route to see the exact times.


Where does the bus stop in my neighborhood?

On your route page you'll see a Google map showing the route of the bus and the exact location of every stop. Click on the map to zoom in or switch to Satellite view to see an actual photographic map of your street and the closest stop.


Why do you want students at their bus stop 5 minutes early?

State law requires drivers to stop traffic and escort children to the bus if they are not already standing at the stop. This throws off our schedules and annoys the neighbors. We also don't want your kids to miss the bus by cutting it too close in the morning. Our drivers try hard to stick to the published schedule, but sometimes things happen and they just can't be that precise.


What if my child misses the bus?

That does sometimes happen to some kids so please be prepared. Every family should have a backup plan where kids have a way to contact a parent or neighbor that can get them to school, or that they can notify if they plan to walk.


What if the bus is late?

This sometimes happens too due to traffic or mechanical problems. Our bus operator will have a replacement bus on the way in the case of a mechanical problem.

To check on a late bus call the First Student Dispatch Office at (925) 926-0375 between 5:30 AM and 5:00 PM.


Who do I call if there is a problem?

If it involves Lost & Found or any issue relating directly to bus operations or a driver, call the First Student dispatch office at (925) 926-0375 between 5:30 AM and 5:00 PM on school days. 

For everything else, call the TRAFFIX Administrative Coordinator on School Days from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at (925) 866-TRFX (8739).

RIDING PRIVILEGES

Can my child be assigned to more than one route?

All students are assigned one route and one stop. If circumstances require your child to be at different homes or after school care locations, contact the Program Manager. We will do our best to accommodate you.


Can my child get off at a different stop?

Students may only travel to their assigned stop, unless prior arrangements have been made with the Program Manager.  If it is for a one-time occurrence like a play date, please see the Play Date Policy on the Customer Service page.


Can my child bring a friend home on the bus?

Yes, if that friend is a registered TRAFFIX rider and you make the request in writing two school days in advance. 

(Please see the Play Date Policy on the Customer Service page). 

TRAFFIX is not allowed to transport a student who is not a registered TRAFFIX rider.

SAFETY

Do the buses have seat belts?

Yes. All our buses are equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts.


Do all riders have to wear their seat belts?

Yes. All riders must wear a seat belt at all times without exception.


What if my child has to cross the street?

When getting off the bus, drivers will escort any students having to cross the street.


Can riders open the windows?

Yes, kids are allowed to open the windows, except when common sense or the bus driver dictates otherwise.


Can riders stick anything out the windows?

No part of a child's body should ever extend through a window, and no item of any kind may thrown out a window.


Do cars have to stop when a bus stops?

Yes! When a bus stops and its red lights and stop arm are activated, cars in both directions must stop. Where there is a divided roadway with a median, only cars in moving the same direction as the bus must stop. There are significant fines for drivers who fail to yield to a School bus.

DISCIPLINE

What happens if a child doesn't follow the rules?

A verbal warning will be issued to the student. If the student continues to violate student behavior guidelines, then an Incident Report Form will be filed. A copy of the report will be sent to the school and parents. The school may take appropriate disciplinary action and the TRAFFIX Program Manager can suspend or revoke transportation privileges.  Note: For some cases, progressive discipline does not apply. See Discipline and Safety Rules.


Who files the Incident Report Forms?

Bus drivers, parents, students, teachers, members of the public or school site administrators may report student behavior violations by calling TRAFFIX at 925-866-8739 or filling out an Incident Report Form.


Can my bus pass be taken away?

Yes. If your child does not respond to the progressive discipline assigned, your pass may be suspended or revoked without refund.  Click here to review the Parent Letter, Discipline and Safety Rules and the TRAFFIX Vandalism Policy.


Are parents financially responsible for vandalism?

Yes, parents or guardians are financially responsible for vandalism caused by their child.


What if my child is being bullied?

Contact your school principal or the Program Manager immediately.


What if my child is accused of bullying?

Your child may be entered into a progressive discipline process. If bullying is happening and does not cease, your child may be temporarily suspended from the bus, and/or may have the annual pass revoked without refund. Note: for some offenses, progressive discipline does not apply and immediate revocation of your child's bus pass may occur.

Questions? Email: manager@RideTRAFFIX.com; Phone: 925-866-TRFX (8739)