Frequently Asked Questions


ARE THERE VIDEO CAMERAS ON ITHACA BUSES? 

All Ithaca school buses are equipped with video cameras.  
 

WHY DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO WEAR A SEAT BELT? 

Seat belts have been required on all new New York State school buses since 1987 - however, the state did not require their use by students. Our district established a mandatory use policy in 2012.  Its main purpose is to help keep students in their seats. School bus seats are designed to protect children in a collision through the use of high backs and energy-absorbent padding. This concept is referred to as “compartmentalization.” However, compartmentalization only works when students are properly seated. Seat belts also help drivers maintain an orderly bus.
 

WHY DOES MY CHILD HAVE AN ASSIGNED SEAT? 

Assigned seats help create create a more stable and secure environment for children on the bus. It means children don’t have to worry about finding a seat every time they board the bus. Knowing where children are seated is also important in an emergency.
 

WHAT IF MY CHILD WANTS TO GO TO ANOTHER STUDENT’S HOME? 

All change requests must be approved by the school. The school will then give your child a signed bus pass to present to the driver.  
 

WHY CAN’T MY CHILD SIT IN THE REAR SEAT OF THE BUS? 

When a bus is filled to capacity, we do utilize the rear seats. However, whenever possible, we keep the rear seats empty. In certain types of crashes, passengers in the rear seats may be more exposed to injury.
 

ARE ITHACA’S BUS DRIVERS FULLY QUALIFIED AND ADEQUATELY TRAINED? 

All New York State school bus drivers are subjected to a driving record and criminal history background check at hire and continually throughout employment. Drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License with special endorsement for transporting school children. Every New York State bus driver receives a minimum of 39 hours of classroom training within their first year of employment, and at least five hours annually after that. And Ithaca provides many additional learning opportunities throughout the year for its drivers and aides.