Education bosses fear there will be a shortage of buses for schoolchildren amid uncertainty over distancing requirements, it is understood.
Scottish Government guidance is awaited on school transport for the return to class in August, including whether children will be required to wear face masks and whether protective screens will be required on coaches.
Thousands of pupils across Fife and Tayside travel to and from school by bus, and with less than five weeks until the start of term local authority officials remain in talks with transport operators on their provision.
Since June 22 face masks have been mandatory on public transport for all except children under the age of five.
Although from Friday distancing on buses will be reduced from two metres to one, the lesser requirement can still cut the capacity of a vehicle by half or more.
Before the holidays P7 pupils bussed to their new secondary schools for transition visits wore face masks and sat apart on board.
Paul White, director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland, said: “Clarity around the practicalities of home to school transport provision is required as a matter of urgency.
We are running out of time to ensure that adequate services are in place to ensure this.”
Paul White, Confederation of Passenger Transport Scotland
“We need certainty around what is expected of operators on matters such as physical distancing and face coverings and for that to be applied in a uniform manner across Scotland.
“The safety of school children and their ability to access school transport as required is our priority.
“We are running out of time to ensure that adequate services are in place to ensure this.”
Stagecoach East Scotland, Wisharts of Friockheim and Bay Travel, based in Cowdenbeath, who are among a number of school transport providers in Tayside and Fife, confirmed they remained in discussion with local authorities.
Susan Kinnear, director of Wisharts, said Angus Council had queried how social distancing could be maintained on its vehicles and how many passengers could be carried but added: “We have had no confirmation to date to say how it is going to be when the schools go back.”
In Angus around 11.6% of pupils travel by bus.
An Angus Council spokesman said: “We continue to work on the arrangements for school transport in August and await further national guidance in relation to physical distancing requirements.”
It has, however, urged parents of new P1 and S1 pupils entitled to transport to ensure applications were submitted as a matter of urgency and before the extended deadline of July 17.
Perth and Kinross
Around 4,300 pupils in Perthshire are entitled to free school transport, with around 24.5% of the area’s schoolchildren travelling by bus.
A spokeswoman for Perth and Kinross Council said: “Further guidance is awaited from the Scottish Government regarding physical distancing requirements on school and local bus services to determine what capacity there will be on buses and whether face coverings for pupils and drivers will be required.
“Many more school buses for entitled pupils will be required in August 2020 if physical distancing is necessary. The availability of such is being explored at present.”
In Dundee 5.6% of pupils take a bus to school.
A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “We are in discussion with the bus companies and details will be released to families when arrangements are confirmed.
“We are also awaiting further guidance on the operation of school transport from the Scottish Government.”
Over 12,000 Fife pupils are entitled to free transport, with 20% of children travelling to school by bus.
Head of education Shelagh McLean said: “Arrangements are well advanced for pupil transport and a number of scenarios are being worked on.
“Fife, like other local authorities, has been liaising with the Scottish Government on some operational matters and we are waiting for guidance, which we expect soon.
“When we have confirmation of the social distancing requirements we will be able to accurately predict what transport capacity we need, what can be provided, and tailor this to fit our scenario planning.”