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Frequently Asked Questions

Pupil Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document. For comments regarding this document contact nde.guidance@nebraska.gov

1. Can schools use vans to transport students?

Yes, but the capacity of the van cannot exceed ten passengers, not including the driver.  The total number a van can carry is eleven – ten passengers plus the driver.

Modifying the seating of a used 12 passenger van to decrease the capacity to ten passengers plus the driver is acceptable.  However, if you are ordering a new 12-passenger van, seating must be configured to seat a total of ten including the driver (in compliance with Federal Regulations) and be sure the vehicle has been certified as a “multi-passenger vehicle.”

When considering the purchase of a new van to be used as a pupil transportation vehicle, schools must be certain the chassis is not the same size as a 15-passenger vehicle.  Some manufacturers are selling new vans as 10 or 11 passengers but are actually built on a 15-passenger chassis.  Those vehicles cannot be used to transport students.

Small vehicles such as cars, Chevy Suburbans or Dodge Caravans will continue to be acceptable to transport school students.

2. Is there a maximum time limit a student can ride a school bus?

There are no statutes or rules that address a maximum time limit that a student can ride a school bus.  However, schools may have local policies that address this issue.  Many schools try to limit ride time but this all depends on the geographical size of the school district.

3. What does the “four-mile” rule mean for pupil transportation?

State Statute 79-611 requires public schools to provide transportation or pay reimbursement to parents in lieu of transportation for students who live four miles or more from school.  Actual reimbursement starts from mile three. 

4.  Can non-public students ride a public school bus?

State Statute 79-601 states a school board of any public school district that provides transportation for children attending that public school shall also provide transportation without cost for children residing in the district that attend non-profit, non-public schools lying within that same district.  Transportation provided for the non-profit, non-public school only extends from some point on the regular public school route nearest or most easily accessible to their home to and from a point on the public school route.

5. What is the reimbursement rate to parents for the transportation of their children?

The reimbursement rate is based on the federal mileage rate and is normally adjusted each January   Click here to see the current rate.  There are two rates listed – regular resident and option enrollment.

Here are the steps to calculate the daily pupil transportation reimbursement rate: 

  1. Determine one-way distance from school
  2. Subtract three miles
  3. Multiply by current rate 

6. Can schools use buses to transport adults to a community activity?

Nebraska State Statute 13-1208 addresses the use of school buses other than transporting students for school purposes.

 
Program Contacts
  • Janice Eret: (402) 471-2248 or janice.eret@nebraska.gov
  • Bryce Wilson: (402) 471-4320 or bryce.wilson@nebraska.gov

Updated on 08/09/2017