A new survey of state pupil transportation directors gives insight on the range of vehicles that states allow for transporting students.

Forty state directors responded to the survey, which was conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).

The survey asked state directors which of a variety of vehicles are allowed in their states for different types of student transportation: home-school-home, curriculum-related trips (between two schools, for example) and non-curricular field or activity trips.

The vehicle types listed were school buses; activity buses; multi-function school activity buses (MFSABs); full-size vans; airport-type shuttle buses; motorcoaches; public transit buses; and passengers cars, multi-purpose passenger vehicles (MPVs) or light trucks.

Here are a few of the findings from the 40 states that participated in the survey:

• Thirteen states allow only school buses to be used for home-school-home transportation on regularly scheduled routes.

• Three states allow MFSABs for home-school-home transportation, 19 allow them for curriculum-related trips, and 22 allow them for non-curricular field or activity trips.

• Seventeen states allow transit buses for home-school-home transportation.

• Twenty-three states allow passengers cars, MPVs or light trucks for home-school-home transportation.

The survey was spurred by Illinois state director Mike Slife, who said that the results would help guide decision-making for student transportation.

“We want to ensure that the yellow bus is the primary vehicle used in our state for pupil transportation,” Slife said. “This type of information will be helpful in finding out what other states do and will allow us to use the data to help show others when groups are looking into using other types of transportation.”

The survey results are available on the NASDPTS website.

More on non-school bus vehicles used in student transportation:

Gauging the safety of school bus alternatives