School Bus Idling

This policy applies to the operation of every district-owned and/or contracted school bus. All drivers shall receive a copy of this bulletin at the beginning of every school year.

The policy strives to eliminate all unnecessary idling and to minimize idling time of all district owned and/or contracted buses. As a result the following guidelines will be followed by all bus drivers.

  1. When school bus drivers arrive at loading or unloading areas to drop off or pick up passengers, buses should be turned off as soon as possible to eliminate idling time and reduce harmful emissions. The bus should not be restarted until it is ready to depart and there is a clear path to exit the pick-up area. Exceptions include conditions that compromise passenger safety, such as extreme weather conditions or idling in traffic.

  2. At school bus depots, idling time will be limited during the early morning warm-up to what is recommended by the manufacturer (generally 3-5 minutes) in all but the coldest weather. Buses may run longer on cold mornings when driver’s windows need defrosting or an emergency situation dictates.

  3. Buses should not idle while waiting for students during field trips, extracurricular activities or other events where students are transported off school grounds.

  4. In colder weather, schools are directed to provide a space inside the school where bus drivers who arrive early can wait.

  5. In colder weather, if the warmth of the bus is an issue, idling is to be at a very minimum and occur outside the school zone whenever possible. The “warmed” bus is to enter the school zone as close to pick-up time as possible to maintain warmth and then shut down.

  6. All service vehicles shall turn off the engines while making deliveries to school buildings.

The transportation director will revise bus schedules so that school bus caravanning can be avoided. The cleanest buses will be assigned to densely populated routes.

Adopted: May 26, 2005