Field Trip Information

Jenni Speed Inns | Field Trip Dispatcher

760.290.2665 [email protected]
Office Hours: M-F 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

The drivers and staff of the Transportation Department love to provide safe and efficient transportation for the San Marcos Unified School District educational programs.  Each year the SMUSD Transportation Department provides over 2,000 field trips for our district, as well as non-district agencies.  SMUSD is very fortunate to have many large buses available to support the district's large educational programs resulting in an average of 50% cost savings compared to using a charter company to provide field trip services.

Field Trip Requests  

The following link: will open a google form.  Once completed, the requester will receive an email of a completed Field Trip Request form populated with the data submitted with the google form.  The email will provide "next steps" required to successfully schedule the field trips bus or buses. 

Field Trip Destinations and Pricing

To lookup Field Trip Destinations and Pricing follow the link.

Bus Capacity

The District's large buses can hold up to 84 passengers.  In some cases, the buses can be filled to capacity for short trips in and around San Marcos at the primary grade levels.  The maximum capacity is three students per bus seat.  If a bus ride will be more than twenty minutes each way, and older students will be transported, we recommend 56 passengers per bus.  This 56 passenger limit is highly recommended for the secondary grade levels.

Special Education Field Trips

If you are planning a field trip for students who require special equipment to be transported, for example, a wheelchair or scooter, a special needs bus will need to be requested.  Requests must be approved by the Special Education Department prior to submitting the Field Trip request to the Transportation Department.   Our special needs buses can accommodate up to two wheelchairs.  We do encourage that other children ride the bus with the students with special needs and that an adult chaperone is provided to ride the bus as well.

Charter Buses

San Marcos Unified School Bus Drivers are highly trained and are held to a high safety standard.  SMUSD buses are regularly inspected in-house at the Transportation Department's Vehicle Repair Facility by our highly-skilled Mechanics.  Additionally, the buses are inspected annually by the California Highway Patrol. SMUSD has these programs in place in order to ensure that our students have the highest level of safe transportation services.  Therefore, most requests for the use of charter buses are not approved.  SMUSD has limited ability to ensure that the charter companies are operating at the District's high standards.  

Moving Truck Use

The Transportation Department has a 24-foot box truck that District staff can request to use.  Due to the size and brake system, this vehicle may only be operated by qualified Transportation personnel.  The requesting person will be responsible for loading, securing, and unloading of cargo.  Students are not allowed to ride in the truck.  The Cargo portion of this truck is 25 feet long and 10 feet tall. This vehicle is equipped with a hydraulic lift which will be operated by the driver. Tie downs and moving blankets will not be provided.

The cost of using this vehicle is $5.00 per mile with a minimum of 15 miles.  To request the use of this vehicle, please use the Transportation Request Form and check the (Hino) option.  Make sure you include the Departure Time, Return Time, and Destination Address on the form.  When planning your trip, please note that this vehicle is required to stop at all California Highway Patrol Weigh Stations which could add a little time to your trip.   If additional trucks are needed, the Transportation Department will rent additional vehicles to accommodate the request.


Failure to cancel a field trip before the bus arrives at the pickup location will result in a full-price charge to the requesting site.  The Transportation Department's hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Please call at least two hours prior to the requested pick-up time to avoid a cancellation fee. Cancellations can also be made by sending an email to [email protected]  Please note the field trip request number, requesting school site, and the date and time of the field trip in the body of the email.

Field Trip Billing

All monies collected for field trips must be turned in to the site's Office Manager.  In turn, the Office Manager will submit the collected funds to the District's Accounting Department.  The Transportation Department submits all billing to the District Accounting Department on the month following the field trip.  If special documentation is required for grants or scholarships, please contact Carol Reyes in the Accounting Department prior to submitting the Transportation Request form.