As students in the Los Angeles Unified School District head back to campus this week, they’ll be taking the bus, driven by their parents, or walking and cycling to and from classes for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced stay-at-home learning.

For some of them, getting around will be a bit different.

Five things you need to know:

  1. Some of the school buses will be electric. Of the 1,302 school buses the district operates, the majority run on fossil fuels: diesel, compressed natural gas, propane or gasoline. In March, the LAUSD purchased its first 10 battery-electric buses.
  2. The LAUSD plans to replace all of its 138 diesel school buses by 2040.
  3. The fareless initiative LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority had planned to launch in August that would allow kindergarten through 12th grade students free rides on Metro trains and buses has been delayed. The Metro Board will reconsider the program in September.
  4. The LA startup Hop Skip Drive has received $25 million in funding to expand its operations. Similar to Uber and only for children, Hop Skip Drive is a service that provides rides to school kids with drivers who have five years of caregiving experience and have been subject to fingerprint background checks and car inspections.
  5. The LA Department of Transportation has made safety improvements to the roads around several LAUSD elementary schools, including Esperanza Elementary in Westlake at the intersection of Little Street and Wilshire Boulevard. It now has a median island, traffic signal, crosswalk and curb extensions, the latter of which is designed to reduce the distance people have to walk to get across the street and force drivers to slow down to turn the corner. The streets around Cowan Avenue Elementary, Short Avenue Elementary, Grand View Boulevard Elementary and Palisades Elementary Charter School also received safety upgrades.