Good Question: How long is too long on the school bus?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — How long does it take your kids to get to school on the bus? 30 minutes, 45, maybe an hour?

Is there anything stopping it from taking even longer?

That’s the question I got from this parent: How long can kids under 10 years of age be kept on the bus for their ride to school each way? And is there any law or regulation that sets an upper limit? The reason for my concern is the total time it takes them to go on the bus is 75 minutes each way. Last year the time on the bus was about 55 minutes.

He told me his kids go to a charter school in the city. They live about 3 miles from it and the Rochester City School District handles transportation through First Student.

So, is there any restriction on the length of time a student should ride to/from school?

RCSD says “No. Neither the Education Law nor the Commissioner’s Regulations specify a maximum time limit for the transportation of students. The Commissioner of Education has ruled that, depending on the circumstances, one-way trips of up to one-and-one-half hours are not necessarily excessive.

The district goes on to say “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 or the number of students on a particular trip, and the opening and closing times of schools.”

State education officials say many districts try to keep it to just an hour at most but that’s not always possible.

RCSD said rides in the city average 45 minutes to an hour. If you have any concerns about the length of rides, you can call 585-336-4000.