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School Finance: Transportation

Pupil Transportation Guide: A Guide for Massachusetts School Administrators

August 1996

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Measurable Distances

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education policy regarding the "measurable distances" provisions set forth in M.G.L. c.71, s. 68, is as follows:

  1. Measurable Distances
    The distance between a pupil's residence and the school the pupil is entitled to attend or the nearest school bus stop shall be measured from "portal to portal" over a commonly traveled route.
  2. Portal to portal shall mean the sidewalk or public way in front or nearest to a pupil's home of residence to the entrance way of the school building the public is attending. Where there is more than one entrance way to the school building either entrance way may be used for measuring distances if both of the entrances are ordinarily accessible.
  3. Commonly traveled route shall mean a sidewalk or public way which, in the ordinary course, is open and accessible to pedestrian traffic.

The above definition of a "commonly traveled route" shall be used to determine and verify numbers of pupils being transported at least 2 miles from school, including instances where a school committee elects to transport pupils, because of hazardous/safety conditions, over a route other than a "commonly traveled route" as defined in our policy on "measurable distances." A public way is considered not open and accessible when a state (excluding Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) or federal agency has officially excluded school transportation vehicles from using the route. School transportation vehicles are not required to travel over nonpublic ways (c.90). A public way is adopted and registered as such in the city or town (c.81).



Last Updated: August 1, 1996
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