Some, but not all, San Antonio charter schools offer free bus transportation for students getting to and from school. Providing school bus transportation makes morning drop off and afternoon pick up easier for families and improves access to high performing charter schools. We have prepared this guide to help you find charter schools in San Antonio that do offer free transportation. Our hope is that this will remove obstacles for accessing high quality education and make it easier for you to find the schools that are the right fit for your children.
Charter Schools that Offer Transportation
Charter schools that have made a commitment to providing access to high quality education for students from all walks of life will offer free transportation services. These charter school bus services may use a clustering or depot system rather than door to door service. In part this is because charter schools have much larger enrollment zones than traditional public schools. We recommend that when you are researching schools, whether at a School Discovery Day, on the phone, in a chat window, on social media, at an information session, or on a school tour, that you ask specific questions about how your family can access transportation services.
Here are our enrollment guide blog posts for open enrollment charter schools that offer free transportation services to students:
- Compass Rose Public Schools
- Essence Prep
- George Gervin Academy
- Jubilee Academies
- KIPP Texas—San Antonio Public Schools
- Legacy Traditional Schools—Texas
- Royal Public Schools
- SA Prep
Pre-K 4 SA also offers transportation services. We want to be sure to mention them, even though technically they are a municipal department rather than an open enrollment charter school.
Transportation at In-District Charter Schools and Magnet Schools
Some of the choice schools that we cover on our site are in-district charter schools or magnet schools. To learn more, visit our post about school models. These are innovative choice schools operated by independent school districts (ISDs) that have open enrollment and unique learning models. These ISDs have dedicated transportation services departments with years of experience. As with the open enrollment charter schools, these services may operate on a hub or depot system.
Here are our enrollment guide blog post about in-district charter schools and magnet schools:
- East Central ISD Schools of Choice
- Edgewood ISD Schools of Innovation
- North East ISD Magnet Schools
- San Antonio ISD Choice Schools
Getting Creative About Transportation
Unfortunately, there are still many choice schools in San Antonio that don’t offer transportation services. Often families will dedicate the time to driving their children to and from school, even spending hours per week waiting in the pickup line. Ultimately, they may need to create more flexibility at work, enlist help from grandparents or other extended family members, or even move closer to the school. Here are some transportation solutions that parents have found:
- Set up carpooling by teaming up with families who live on your side of town and whose kids go to the same charter school.
- Find well-qualified childcare—i.e., a babysitter or a nanny who is a safe driver—through a local search or a service like Kidcaboo or Care.com.
- Hire a driving service such as SA Family Transport.
- Enroll your student in an after school activity such as gymnastics or martial arts that will pick up from school, like these out-of-school-time programs recommended by Fun 4 Alamo Kids.
- Sign up for before school or after school care at your child’s school so that you can drop off and pick up your child outside of your regular working hours.
- For age 13 and up, use a rideshare service like Uber; availability varies by city.
- Teens can use VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio’s regional multimodal transportation solution. (In other words, take “the city bus.”) Some schools may offer financial assistance with bus passes.
Transportation is a popular topic in the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook. You can ask questions about your own transportation challenges and search previous threads for ideas and solutions. We also recommend joining the online communities for your students’ schools and asking for advice in those groups. They are also a great tool for arranging carpools.
High cost is one of the reasons why some charter schools don’t offer transportation services to students. As parents and caregivers, we can speak up for equitable school funding and highlight the need for school buses so that all students can access high quality charter schools. Find resources on advocacy from the Texas Public Charter Schools Association.
Read More About Charter School Transportation
- “What’s a Car Nanny, and Why Are So Many Families Looking for One?,” Alina Dizik, Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2023
- “13-year-olds can call an Uber in San Antonio starting next week,” Gabriella Ybarra, San Antonio Express-News, May 18, 2023
- “What are the best rideshare options for kids in DFW?,” Tashara Parker and Makenzie Kenny, WFAA, May 15, 2023
- “The Value of Good Parent Communication and School Operations,” Nick Stamboulis, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 27, 2023
- “Education Policy: Access & Equity in Public Charter School Transportation,” National Association of Charter School Authorizers