Guidelines for School Bus Routing & Stops
Bus Stop & Routing Criteria
Bus routes and stops are designed with consideration of safety, efficiency, cost, and shortest over-all ride times. Bus routing is designed with buses traveling main roads through neighborhoods and with students picked up and dropped off at central locations. Bus stops are located at corners or intersections whenever possible and are centrally located to where students are coming from. Some house stops are made on very busy roads or midway on long streets.
Why are bus stops established at corners or intersections?
Bus stops are located at corners for several reasons:
- Students are taught to cross at corners rather than in the middle of the street.
- Traffic controls, such as stoplights or signs are located at corners. This slows down motorists at corners and they tend to be more cautious as they approach intersections. The motoring public generally expects school buses to be stopping at corners rather than individual houses. Impatient motorists are also less likely to pass buses at corners than along a street. Cars passing school buses create the greatest risk to students who are getting on or off the bus.
- In the winter, salting and sanding is usually done at corners, providing safer stopping for buses and cars.
- Buses use their eight-way light system and stop arm when picking up and dropping off students. Corner stops allow ample time for the driver to activate the yellow warning lights before getting to the stop.
- The visibility for bus drivers is better at corners. Searching for house numbers can be distracting for drivers.
- Ride times for students are shorter if buses are kept on main roads and are not sent down every street. Route changes for new students can be accommodated when stops are at corners.
What Else is Considered When Determining Stops?
- Time of day students are at the stop.
- Traffic patterns and speed limits.
- Length of walk to the stop.
- Whether the student needs to cross a busy street to get to the bus stop.
- What is the age of the student.
- Is a turn around for the bus required.
What Is Not Considered Necessary for Adding or Changing a Stop?
- It is not possible to provide bus stops that are within sight of all student homes or daycares. Most families that live one house from the corner cannot see the corner bus stop without coming out of their homes. We encourage parents to be out at bus stops to promote proper pedestrian and bus stop behavior.
- Routes travel past many students’ houses; stopping at all would be inefficient. Other students may be assigned to the stop, but ride infrequently. Stops at corners accommodate other students who may move into the neighborhood.
- Cul de Sac turnaround. Cul de sacs do not provide enough room for safe access by school buses. Regular route buses are not sent into cul de sacs or dead end roads.
Other Routing Considerations
The order of pick up and drop off of students is designed to be most efficient and within the shortest possible time. Students who are first on in the morning will not necessarily be the first off in the afternoon if it is a less efficient way to run the route. In general, the farther students live from school, the longer their bus ride will be. All route times are kept under one hour and are usually in the range of 30 – 40 minutes each way. The length of the bus ride is not determined by the distance from school, but by the number of stops made.
Requesting a Change
If you would like to request a bus stop change please complete the Bus Stop Change Request Form.