Pupil Transportation

Maximum Time That a Pupil May Spend on a School Bus

             Education Law (EL 3635) does not contain a maximum length of time that a pupil may be expected to spend riding on a school bus.   However, it is widely accepted that the en route time must be reasonable.  The Commissioner of Education has held that numerous factors may be considered in determining whether the amount of time is reasonable.  Such factors as the following and others may be considered:  age of the pupil, distance between home and school, safety, efficiency, cost, available buses, the number of schools on a particular trip, and the opening and closing times of schools.

              Many districts attempt to limit the time en route to one hour, but there are situations because of the distances traveled, where it is not possible to complete the trip within one hour.  The Commissioner has held that nonpublic school students are not in like circumstances with public school students concerning the length of their school bus routes to school.  Districts are expected to provide economical and efficient transportation, and therefore, will often transport to more than one school on a single trip.

              The Commissioner of Education has held, in Judicial Decisions, that a trip of 1 ½ hours, in particular situations, was not unreasonable.

Last Updated: September 8, 2009