SamTrans Prepares for Students’ Return to Schools


SamTrans is partnering with school districts throughout San Mateo County to provide bus service to campuses as they reopen. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic subsides, the agency remains committed to providing students with access to a safe and convenient ride to school.

Ongoing best practices for protecting against COVID-19 complicate this process, as SamTrans cannot maintain all of its routes that traditionally serve schools to the same degree as before while also practicing social distancing. As such, the agency is first focusing on providing service to neighborhoods with the highest public transportation needs.

The process of restoring service starts with a request from the school district. From there, SamTrans will evaluate the ability to provide service with the current bus and operator availability and will integrate routes into service through our service revision process.

Currently, SamTrans is running Routes 53, 55, 81, 95, 140, 141, 275 (via the 278) and 286, serving Parkside, Borel and Tierra Linda Middle Schools and Menlo-Atherton and Woodside High Schools. On April 11, Routes 25, 29 and 62 will resume, serving Ben Franklin Intermediate School, Lipman Middle School and Carlmont High School. Further updates will be made available online at

“As we begin to slowly return to normal, we have to recognize that the impacts of COVID-19 were and are not distributed evenly,” said SamTrans Board Chair Charles Stone. “Essential workers are not going to have the same flexibility as those of us that are lucky enough to work remotely. We must prioritize the kids who will have the greatest challenges traveling to and from school as we begin the transition back to in-person learning.”

Since ridership demand is as of yet undetermined, SamTrans will schedule one bus per route, which will be adjusted as ridership levels become more clear. Given the current limitations, SamTrans recommends students that have alternate means of getting to campus, to use them in order to reserve space on board for those who most need it. Parents are advised to visit Safe Routes to School for more information on how students can get to school safely by walking or biking.


About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 70 routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.

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