TITLE VIIICHAPTER 43PUPIL TRANSPORTATION[Prior to 9/7/88, see Public Instruction Department Ch 22]DIVISION ITRANSPORTATION ROUTES28143.1(285) Intra-area education agency routes. 43.1(1) Bus routes within the boundaries of transporting districts as well as within designated areas must be as efficient and economical as possible under existing conditions. Duplication of service facilities shall be avoided insofar as possible. 43.1(2) A route shall provide a load of at least 75 percent capacity of the bus. 43.1(3) The riding time, under normal conditions, from the designated stop to the attendance center, or on the return trip, shall not exceed 75 minutes for high school pupils or 60 minutes for elementary pupils. (These limits may be waived upon request of the parents.) 43.1(4) Pupils whose residence is within two miles of an established stop on a bus route are within the area served by the bus and are not eligible for parent or private transportation at public expense to the school served by the bus, except as follows: a. Bus is fully loaded. b. Physical handicap makes bus transportation impractical.All parents or guardians who are required by their school district to furnish transportation for their children up to two miles to an established stop on a bus route shall be reimbursed pursuant to Iowa Code subsection 285.1(4). 43.1(5) Transporting districts shall arrange routes to provide the greatest possible convenience to the pupils. Distance pupils who are required to transport themselves to meet the bus shall be kept to the minimum consistent with road conditions, uniform standards and legal requirements for locating bus routes. 43.1(6) Each bus route shall be reviewed annually for safety hazards.28143.2(285) Interarea education agency routes. 43.2(1) Joint consultation shall be held by the area education agency boards involved. The initial steps may be undertaken by the area education agency administrators. If there are no difficulties and agreement is reached, the route is approved and no further action need be taken. 43.2(2) If agreement is not reached in the initial attempt, the administrator of the area education agency in which the applying school is located shall advise the superintendent of reasons for failure to reach agreement and request that the superintendent revise the transportation plan to meet the objection and resubmit same. 43.2(3) If the area education agency boards do not reach agreement on the route, the home area education agency administrator shall forward the complete record of the case together with disapproved transportation plan to the state department of education. Every effort should be made, however, to settle the matter locally. 43.2(4) All legal provisions, standards and regulations applying to approval and operation of bus routes apply equally to interarea education agency bus routes. 43.2(5) All interarea education agency bus routes must be approved each year. If there has been no change in the designations, nor in the proposed route, transportation plan may be made and agreement indicated by letter.DIVISION IIPRIVATE CONTRACTORS28143.3(285) Contract required. All private contractors wishing to transport pupils to and from school in privately owned vehicles must be under contract with the board of education. This requirement will not apply to individuals who transport their own children or other children on a not-for-hire basis.The contract form used shall be that provided by the department of education. (Form TR-F-4-497)28143.4(285) Uniform charge. The contract must provide for a uniform charge for all pupils transported. No differentiations may be made between pupils of different districts except as provided in Iowa Code section 285.1(12).28143.5(285) Board must be party. The contractor may not arrange with individual families for transportation. The contractor undertakes to transport only those families indicated by the board of education.28143.6(285) Contract with parents. Parents, guardians, or custodians undertaking to transport other children for hire, in addition to their own, are private contractors. These individuals must be under contract, and must obtain an appropriate driver’s license and a school bus driver’s authorization.28143.7(285) Vehicle requirements. Any vehicle used, other than that used by individuals to transport their own children or other children on a not-for-hire basis, is considered to be a school bus and must meet all requirements for the type of vehicle used. (This requirement is not intended to restrict the use of passenger cars during the time the vehicles are not actually engaged in transporting school pupils.)DIVISION IIIFINANCIAL RECORDS AND REPORTS28143.8(285) Required charges. Full pro rata costs must be charged and collected for the transportation of all nonresident pupils. No differentiation may be made in charges due to differences in distance or grade in school.28143.9(285) Activity trips deducted. Transporting school districts which use their equipment for activity trips, or educational tours, or other types of transportation services as permitted in Iowa Code sections 285.10(9) and 285.10(10), must deduct the cost of trips from the total yearly transportation cost. In other words, costs may not be included in the pro rata costs which determine the charge to sending districts.Accurate and complete accounting records must be kept so that the cost of transportation to and from school may be ascertained.DIVISION IVUSE OF SCHOOL BUSES28143.10(285) Permitted uses listed. School buses may be used to transport pupils under the following conditions: 43.10(1) The program is a part of the regular or extracurricular program of a public school and has been so adopted and made a matter of record in the minutes of all the boards involved. 43.10(2) The pupils are enrolled in a public school. 43.10(3) The program or activity must be sponsored by a school or group of schools cooperatively and be under the direct control of a qualified teacher or recreational or playground director of a school district. a. A regularly certificated teacher must be in charge of the program. Several or all schools may engage the same instructor on a cooperative basis. b. In transporting pupils to Red Cross swimming classes a superintendent of schools may be designated by action of the district board as the supervisor or director of the activity and may use the Red Cross instructor to carry on the actual instruction in swimming. c. If the Red Cross instructor holds a regular teacher’s certificate issued by the board of educational examiners, the instructor can be named as general supervisor of the activity by the several schools. 43.10(4) The bus shall be driven by a regularly approved driver holding an appropriate driver’s license and a school bus driver’s authorization. In addition, the buses must be accompanied by a member of the faculty or other employee of the school or a parent or other adult volunteer as authorized by a school administrator who will be responsible for the conduct and the general supervision of the pupils on the bus and at the place of the activity. If the faculty member is an approved driver, that person can act both as a driver and faculty sponsor. 43.10(5) School buses may be used by an organization of, or sponsoring activities for, senior citizens, children, handicapped, and other persons and groups, and for transportation of persons other than pupils to activities in which pupils from the school are participants or are attending the activity or for which the school is a sponsor under the following conditions: a. The “school bus” signs shall be covered and the flashing warning lamps and stop arm made inoperable when the bus is being used in a nonschool-sponsored activity. b. Transportation outside the state of Iowa shall not be provided without the approval of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the United States Department of Transportation. c. A chaperone shall accompany each bus to assist the passengers in boarding and disembarking from the bus and to aid them in case of illness or injury. d. The driver of the bus shall be approved by the local board of education and must possess an appropriate driver’s license and a school bus driver’s authorization. e. The driver of the bus shall observe the maximum speed limits for school buses at all times. 43.10(6) Seating. a. Each passenger shall have a comfortable seat. b. Student passengers shall have a minimum of 13 inches of allowable seating per person. c. For adult groups, no more than two persons shall occupy a 39-inch seat. d. Standees are prohibited in all situations, whether the bus is transporting students or adults. e. The maximum number of passengers shall never exceed the rated capacity of the vehicle as it is equipped.28143.11(285) Teacher transportation. Public school teachers who are transported should be included in the average number transported and should be charged the pro rata cost by the transporting district.DIVISION VTHE BUS DRIVER28143.12(285) Driver qualifications. General character and emotional stability are qualities which must be given careful consideration by boards of education in the selection of school bus drivers. Elements that should be considered in setting a character standard are:
- Reliability or dependability.
- Initiative, self-reliance, and leadership.
- Ability to get along with others.
- Freedom from use of undesirable language.
- Personal habits of cleanliness.
- Moral conduct above reproach.
- Freedom from addiction to narcotics or habit-forming drugs.
- Freedom from addiction to alcoholic beverages or liquors.