Requesting a Field Trip Bus
This "request" is only the first step in reserving a bus or motor coach. A successful request means you have completed the request form correctly; it does not mean you have an approved trip. It is only the start of our process to determine if there are buses and drivers available at that date and time.
Does your trip include travelling anywhere in the state of Washington? If so, please read Risk Management https://www.pps.net/Page/12985
When requesting a field trip, please complete the Approval to Plan a Field Trip form at least 3 weeks before you need the bus. Give the completed request form to your Principal’s Secretary for entry into our TripTracker Requests System. The Principal’s Secretary must enter the trip request at least 10 working days prior to the date of the field trip; 30 days for wilderness and/or overnight trips; 90 days for international trips.
Trip Request versus Scheduled Trip
A request entered into the TripTracker Requests system isn’t a guarantee of a scheduled trip. It is only the start of our process to determine if there are buses and drivers available at that date and time.
Once your trip request has been entered into the TripTracker Requests system it will be reviewed and determined if a school bus is available. If one (or more) are, then the trip will be marked as "Approved" and forwarded to our vendor for "Scheduling". If a bus is not available your school's field trip coordinator will be contacted with options. These may be a request to modify the trip's times or a request for permission to send the trip out for a third party motor coach quote. Our school bus vendor assigns vehicles and drivers to the Approved trips on Thursdays.
Requests will be taken on a first come first serve basis. We have a very limited number of Prime Time vehicles, as a majority of our fleet is doing home to school trips. Please complete your Approval to Plan a Field Trip form and submit it to your Principal’s Secretary as soon as you know the date of your trip. Viewing the "PPS fieldtrips" Google calendar or the calendar located at the top of this page will give you a good idea of how many prime-time drivers are available.
A request is not a guarantee of a field trip. A trip is not guaranteed until we are able to confirm with our contractors that a bus and driver are scheduled.
All District Field Trip forms can be found on Risk Management's website.
Types of Requests that will be Automatically Denied
In an effort to limit District liability due to risky activities the District will not allow the use of its resources for these types of activities. Please contact private organizations for these services:
- Sports Club trips. Student Clubs AD: 4.40.050-AD
- Ski or Snowboarding trips
- HS Graduation Parties
Limited Prime-Time Bus Availability
A District’s bus fleet is financed and staffed to transport student trips from home-to-school and school-to-home. There is no funding or a business model to dedicate extra buses and drivers for field trips. Because of this limitation we have a very limited number of Prime Time vehicles as a majority of our fleet is doing home-to-school trips in the morning and afternoon.
Please schedule your trips in the Non-Prime Times whenever possible to preserve the few Prime Time vehicles and drivers we have.
- There is limited availability before 9:30 a.m. and after 1:30 p.m., as these are the windows where school busses are running their home-to-school routes (“Prime Time”). Requests during these windows are limited and will be filled on a first-come-first served basis.
- There are few restrictions on Non-Prime Time trips scheduled between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.
- There are few restrictions on evening trips scheduled after 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
- There are few restrictions on trips scheduled at any time on Saturday or Sunday.
Please schedule your activities to fall in these time frames. Work with your destination contacts to coordinate your trip within the time frame vehicles are available.
Within the TripTracker system dates are closed when we receive more requests than vehicles or drivers are available. If the date or time window (Prime Time or Non-Prime Time) you would like to request is highlighted pink in the TripTracker calendar, then that day or time slot is closed to new trips. Please DO NOT continue to enter Prime Time trip requests on the closed dates. If you do schedule a bus on this date and your trip is not scheduled, the Transportation Department is not liable to help retain a refund.
Please see your Principal’s secretary regarding Field Trip questions or issues. They may refer you to the Transportation Department with questions.
Teachers & Administrators Review of Field Trip Details and Request Status
Each Wednesday Transportation Staff will email a list of all Field Trip Requests to your school secretary. Please ask to review this list to verify that we have the correct details for your trip(s).
New in 2017-18 is the ability to give all PPS teachers and administrators access to review all trips that have been scheduled. Click here to read how to enable your PPS account to view your trips: TripTracker-Overiew & FAQ for Instructors & Administrators.
There are six field trip statuses that your field trip request will cycle through. These will help you determine where your field trip is in its “life cycle:”
- Requested – Status that a trip defaults to when a trip is initially entered.
- Approved – The trip request has been approved by transportation staff allowing the Contractors to review and schedule the trip request.
- Scheduled – The trip has a driver and vehicle assigned to it by the contractor. The trip is guaranteed by the Contractor to run.
- Closed – The trip has been completed. This status is part of the invoicing process and shows that the invoice has been sent to Accounts Receivable for final processing.
- Cancelled – This status occurs if a trip has been cancelled for some reason. There is no option to delete trips.
Please help us insure quality by double checking the details of your trips. Let us know if a request is missing, the status is incorrect or if there are duplicate trips. Times, pickup/drop-off addresses, bus capacity, wheelchair lift, dates. Here is a link to the system.
Cancelling the Bus
A bus must be cancelled at least 24 hours prior to the time the trip departs in order to avoid cancellation charges. Please send this in writing via email to email@example.com. You are responsible to confirm that your trip is cancelled; otherwise your school will be charged. You can do this by viewing the weekly Google document that will be posted on a weekly basis.
Changes to Your Trip
Please submit any changes to your trip via email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours prior to your leave time. No changes will be accepted less than 48 hours prior to trip day.
Weather related issues – Call at least 2 hours before trip to avoid cancellation charges
Field Trip Bus Estimates
We provide price estimates as a courtesy only; they do not reflect the final cost as each trip request is a custom quote via our procurement process. Your trip is billed after it is completed.
2022–2023 School Year Rates
Standard yellow bus weekday rates.
*Weekend and overnight rates will vary.
Yellow bus hourly rates are provided as an FYI only.
We cannot guarantee all field trips will be able to rely upon a yellow buses (and lower rates) so please budget using the motor coach rates below.
- Take-Stay: Total hours of the trip + 1.5 (to represent deadhead) = Total Bus Hours
- Take-Return: Total hours the bus is being used (Take time + Return time) + 3.0 (to represent deadhead) = Total Bus Hours
Take your Total Bus Hours, apply the three hour minimum to it, then calculate the remaining time based on 15 minute increments to get a rough estimate of the cost of a bus for your trip. Just multiply this rate by the number of buses you intend on using for multiple bus trips.
Example: You have a 4 hour trip (Take-Stay). You add 1.5 hours to cover any deadhead that we may be charged for and the total is your "Total Bus Hours", which in this example is 5.5 hours. We'll then apply the 3 hour minimum ($240.90), leaving us with 2.5 hours that will be billed in 10 15 minute increments (10*15 minutes = 2.5 hours). So, (10*$15.70)+$240.90 = $397.90, your estimate for the trip.
Motor Coach Estimates
- All motor coach trips are bid as custom estimates and there isn't a simple formula. However, we have observed that the average trip starts at about $175/hour plus mileage and fees.
Field Trip Rules
The safety of your pupils is in your bus driver's hands. This requires that the driver's attention be on the road at all times. The behavior and discipline of the students is the responsibility of the teachers and chaperones. We ask your cooperation in preventing loud or excessive noise and in maintaining good bus discipline according to the rules as established by the Oregon Board of Education that are posted in each bus.
Please see that your students are ready to return to the bus at the scheduled time. A bus returning late from a field trip is then late on its' entire afternoon route and this could incur an extra charge to your trip
Each field trip bus is required to have an adult chaperone on it.
It is the intent of the Transportation Department, and your driver, for your field trip to be fun and enjoyable.
School Bus Capacity