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Debusguy
Senior Member

USA
114 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  4:33:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am a transportation supervisor for a school district in Pennsylvania. Every year we send out postcards to inform students and parents of the assigned arrival time of their bus. Along with the posted time is a directive to be at the stop five minutes earlier than that posted time. A number of my drivers approached me with a point of view that this directive allows or excuses a driver to leave a stop one or two minutes earlier than that posted time, if and when it occurs. To me, they can be a minute or more late, but there is no excuse for an early leave time. As a result, I send them back to pick up students if the driver admits to being early. What policy do other operations have about this concern?

CPSBUS67
Senior Member

USA
113 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  5:19:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We run a policy that students "should" be at their stop 10 min early and we are told to wait 3 min for students if they are not there as a driver I see both sides of the point brought to you by your drivers but our parents are told to expect the bus in a "block of time" instead of a deffinate time which we all know is almost impossible esspecialy if you use versatrans our parents and students are also told that becouse of traffic and weather and other things beyond our control these times will vary "if they have stood out for 15 mins or more call"

GIVE ME A THOMAS AND NO ONE GETS HURT!!!!!!!
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B. Busguy33
Top Member

USA
3444 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2006 :  8:12:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit B. Busguy33's Homepage  Send B. Busguy33 an AOL message  Send B. Busguy33 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Students should be at their stops 5 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time. Drivers are allowed to leave the stop if no one shows up after a minute of waiting. However, if the parents call and tell the school or bus company that his/her kid missed the bus, we usually have to go back and pick him/her up.
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OperationsM
Top Member

USA
515 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2006 :  5:29:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit OperationsM's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If the driver comes early, he has to go back to pick the child up. If the driver arrives late, we also mandate that the driver go and pick the child up.


Hotel's Ford Girardin
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Salaskie
Advanced Member

USA
453 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2006 :  10:17:50 PM  Show Profile  Send Salaskie an AOL message  Send Salaskie a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Our students are to arrive at their stop five minutes before the scheduled time. This is to counter those who come running out at the last minute. Remember the adage...Loading and unloading students is the most dangerous part of your route. Late students are a safety hazard. The five minutes is to prevent the runner :-).
The driver activates the ambers, stops at the appointed spot, activates the reds (a full complete student stop) whether a student is there or not. Before leaving, a last check is made of the area, reds deactivated, then on to the next stop. At no time is there a double back unless it is routed that way.
I'm surprised a route bus is allowed to wait 3 minutes at each stop. Our sped units do this, but they are in the students driveway. 3 minutes is standard on those routes. It can throw your scheduling off, but we just chuck the schedule for sped units. I can't even pretend to know what the parents face each morning getting a student ready for school who can't help themselves. Hats off to them...we'll give them the extra time.
If a driver is early??? They are to pull along side the road and wait.

Edited by - Salaskie on 06/24/2006 10:18:35 PM
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Bluebird62
Top Member

USA
530 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2006 :  11:09:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have the five minute policy as well, but drivers must be at the stop at the time on their route sheet.
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Gini
Top Member

USA
1249 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2006 :  8:34:44 PM  Show Profile  Send Gini an AOL message  Reply with Quote
in FCPS, all parents are told to have kids ready 5 min before stop time, including SpEd. as a SpEd driver, i'm to wait 3 min for a walker, 5 min for a wheelchair, as a courtesy only, not as a daily thing. i try to build in "reality" time for the different students, w/o being unfair.

1Peter 1:3
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John Farr
Top Member

USA
642 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2006 :  08:49:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Younger kids (k-8) tend to arrive too early to stops to play, make lots of noise and sometimes get into mischief. The policy should state they should arrive NO EARLIER than 5" before DEPARTURE TIME. No bus waiting after scheduled departure time. If a student misses the bus we would send a bus back after run time, usually after 9:00 AM. Most parents would find a way to get them there sooner, however. The late bus is more for latchkey kids who had no other way to get to school. In colder climates we would have to go back sooner for the safety of the child, depending on the weather.
Special education students, as stated above, are a different story. Now that we have cell phones, a lot of problems can be solved and bus waiting minimized. If the bus arrives early, it must wait until the scheduled departure time. If it arrrives on schedule and the student is not outside the house and ready, a cell phone call will determine whether or not to wait. In any event, the bus should not wait more than 3 minutes. It can return after run time, if needed. (Why make the rest of the kids on the bus late?)

Frequently late students should receive referrals.
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IC-CEiswhereiwannabe
Advanced Member

USA
214 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2006 :  6:11:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our policy states students must arrive at the stop 10 minutes before (which I think is slightly excessive

BUT

WE DO NOT WAIT

We may toot the horn with our ambers on, but that's it.

Parents call in and ***** and then our supervisors usually make us go back if we were outside of a five minute window on either side of the scheduled time.

Why can't U C what I C in IC?
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ICfan
Top Member

USA
1251 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2006 :  5:59:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit ICfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
All-Stars Policy (DAve correct me if I am wrong) be at your stop 5 minutes early. Does not matter whether the driver comes early or not. We my area, post the routes in the newspaper about a week before school begins, and let me tell you, the times that buses are supposed to arrive at the High School are wrong they say 7:10, 3 to 5 buses are there at 7am or 6:55. My bus is one of those buses, but we beat the backup that occurs.

Tyler Roys Weatherman and International Fan,

http://www.freewebs.com/thectschoolbusyard
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2006 :  6:06:18 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Our rule has always been a give or take 5 minute rule.I have students or there parents that really push the issue because I see them going to the stop not many but always the same ones.We have buses still starting before 6am and in some extreme areas before 5 30 but they are trying to control that better.We have such a driver shortage right now it will be interesting to see how the fall comes togather.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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John Farr
Top Member

USA
642 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2006 :  04:44:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If we are truly about safety we should not permit students to be late in arriving to the bus. In heavily trafficed areas this practice caused traffic tie-ups and unsafe conditions with children running in the streets, and sometimes crossing the street behind and worse, along the side of the departing bus. Often the driver will turn the red lights off to permit traffic to pass, but that removes the protection of stopped traffic, and can cause accidents when turning the lights back on to board a late student.

On more rural routes a different problem occurs. There are more stops on a route, and a practice of waiting for students at many stops causes the bus to be late - or the delays have to be scheduled into the starting time of the route, which is unfair to those students living at the beginning of the route.

Chronically late students receive a referral.
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ICfan
Top Member

USA
1251 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2006 :  09:58:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit ICfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You are right John Farr. Thats why one Middle School route does one road which is every busy - EAST MAIN ST. In the route sheet it says NO CROSS OVERS! So the bus goes westbound on E. Main then truns around at the Intersection of Rt. 4, and 8, and then goes Eastbound on East Main. So thats what happens on busy roads in my town!

Tyler Roys Weatherman and International Fan,

http://www.freewebs.com/thectschoolbusyard
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JK
Top Member

USA
7307 Posts

Posted - 07/19/2006 :  10:34:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit JK's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It would seem not an issue when students decide to arrive at their bus stops. Safety is the issue, not what time the kids and parents decide to arrive at their bus stops. Safety may include adult supervision at the bus stop.

The students that made the decision to ride the bus are expected at their bus stop and ready to board five minutes early, actual time - not home time, not school time or bus driver time, but five minutes before the actual scheduled time. Please set your atomic clocks.

The kids and parents that schedule outside the five minute expectation are welcome to do so safely. A notice may be sent when a student is late to the bus stop - enforcing that safe practice especially when the bus is observed proceeding and a late student is noticed chasing after the bus.

To go back and pick-up when the bus arrived too early would seem a legitimate plan.

To go back and pick up for certain parents and not all parents supports enabling these events - mollycoddling some and not others - and is discrimination, in my opinion. How can these things be considered a legitimate plan?

Seems reasonable to expect all students have a backup plan, not just the ones that miss the bus.

The child is about to miss the bus - what's the plan? The bus did not arrive at the scheduled time - What's the plan?

The industry's nationwide five minutes early rule is an effective safe practice only when enforced. There are plenty of legitimate justifications for parents to ignore this safe practice when the school or district does the same. Neither side would seem have any excuse or need one, but simply need to know the plan. What happens next?

Kids and buses that chronically arrive off the schedule, too early or too late, then what is the plan to correct that?

No excuses to parents, and none from parents are acceptable outcomes, in my opinion. Would certainly seem hypocritical to think otherwise.

I would think that we need stop discriminating against some parents, while performing favors for other parents. (jk)

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Edited by - JK on 07/19/2006 10:36:18 AM
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CPCSC_TD
Top Member

USA
657 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2006 :  4:54:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree 100% with JK.
We have a 10 minute rule. Half our routes are rural and half town routes.

Our situation- if a bus does not hit traffic since our routes are 1 hour in length, there is a good chance they will run early. Our driver's are repsonsible for leaving on time, pre- tripping, operating the bus safe. KNowing this, we do our part, we ask the parents to do theirs.

We send out post cards and have route information available on the internet through our routing supplier. Anywhere we give bus ifformation, we remind them to be at the stop 10 minutes early. We tell parents this on the phone in the event of the bus traveling a different way due to construction, road closures, or a sub driver.

Look at what JK said and go a little deeper. Transportation sent the bus back for Johnny so I bet if I want a house stop and cry a little more, they will give in. Now you give in because this parent has you trapped. This year it was coming back everytime he missed, accomodating a house stop- next year he wants to be on last so he can sleep in 10 more minutes. Perhaps in two years, mom will cry a little louder and insist we have an all you can eat buffet in the back of the bus.

JK has the most important points of all listed- we need to be consistent and start enforcing some of our rules.

We also state everywhere, BUSES WILL NOT BE SENT BACK FOR TARDY STUDENTS!

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bobsbud22
Senior Member

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2006 :  06:57:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit bobsbud22's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i agree, bus drivers can be a little bit late, but not too late, once when i was in school,the bus was 50 mins late, so we walked 5 miles to school, then the bus pulled in.

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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2006 :  12:43:49 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
The bus driver short fall this fall should have lots of students going in late. We are still in need of bus drivers we are getting some but not sure how long they will last.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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Admin
Administrator

USA
1662 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2023 :  08:11:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For more general information about school transportation, check out our School Bus Fleet FAQ! https://www.schoolbusfleet.com/school-bus-faq
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