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Busing-3 Mile Rule


What are the guidelines of the "3 Mile Rule"?


MCA 20-10-101(2)(c)(i) states “resides at least 3 miles, over the shortest practical route, from the nearest operating public elementary school…” This information is used to determine if a student is eligible to generate bus mileage reimbursement for the school district or to generate mileage reimbursement for parents who transport their children to school.

A parent wanting bus service for their child would need to visit with the transportation director of the school district to see if a route has been established in that area. Parents can attend school board meetings to request that such a route be established.

Some districts allow ineligible students to ride as long as they don’t displace eligible riders. MCA 20-10-122(2) allows the district to charge ineligible transportee his proportionate share of the cost of operating such a school bus.

OPI Contact:  Donell Rosenthal at (406) 444-3024 or email

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Last Updated
8th of March, 2012

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