The owner and driver of a school bus should be thoroughly familiar with the area. When route layouts are considered, the driver should help make recommendations to the school board, parents and, where applicable, the vehicle owner. A well-planned route can be the safest. Information on the route should be available to everyone affected by the service.

Consider these factors when laying out routes and planning schedules:

  • Age, health and physical condition of the passengers
  • Condition of the roads to be travelled
  • School schedule
  • Distances between homes and school
  • Distances between homes and routes
  • Safety of walking routes between homes and routes
  • Number and size of available buses
  • Number of passengers to be served
  • Size of area
  • Location of bus stops
  • Seasonal conditions (such as snow banks)
  • Location of safe turnaround points

In choosing a route

  • Examine bad curves, steep hills, rough roads, narrow bridges, railroad crossings and other hazards. Avoid these whenever possible.
  • Make sure bus stops are free from physical hazards.
  • Route buses as near to the homes of passengers as traffic, time and convenience permit.
  • Where possible, pick up and drop off passengers on the home side of the road, to eliminate or reduce the number of passengers forced to cross the road.
  • Prepare and follow a time schedule.
  • Make sure turnaround points are safe in all weather, with firm traction and good visibility of oncoming traffic.