We route school buses in the most efficient manner consistent with state law and School Board policies and guidelines regarding the establishment of safe school bus stops. Bus stop locations are established with safety the main criteria. There are often conflicting issues involving bus stop locations such as time, door side pick-ups and distance. Some, but not all, of the factors in determining a bus stop are:
- Potential safety issues at waiting/loading zones
- Age of the students
- Student access to the bus stop
- Maintaining state mandated distances for activation of the school bus 8-way warning lights
- Visibility at the stop location for approaching motorists
- Because of the inherent danger in school buses backing up, routes and stops locations are established where possible to preclude the necessity of buses backing up.
- Routes are designed to avoid buses traveling into areas terminating at cul-de-sacs or dead end streets or unapproved/ undedicated township roads and/or developments.
- Buses will not be routed into developments where other vehicles or objects may block or create unsafe travel through the development
- Is the road a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation designated “hazardous road?”
- On high speed and congested roadways school bus stops create hazards for both students and the motoring public so the department tries to keep to a minimum the number of stops
House Stops – School Board Policy #810 bans “house stops” except for students whose IEP requires one, for validated medical reasons of the student or where Penn DOT has certified the road to be hazardous to walk or cross over.
Hazardous Routes – Only the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation can certify a road as hazardous. Even if designated a hazardous road the law permits students to walk up to 500 feet in some circumstances to reach a bus stop.
Distances from Bus Stop or School – School Board Policy #810 permits a secondary student to walk 2.0 miles to a bus stop or school. The same policy permits elementary students to walk 1.5 miles. Both distances are aligned the state law.
Length of Ride (Time on Bus) – There are no time limits set by the Pennsylvania Department Education on the length of a bus ride.
Stop Locations – We try to centrally locate all stops for the students assigned. Elementary stops may be within the neighborhoods. Middle School students are expected to walk farther and high school stops are almost never in the neighborhood, but out at main roads.
Mirror Stops – School Board Policy #810 states that where possible all stops for private, public and parochial students should be at the same location.