The purpose of this document is to specify school bus minimum standards which modify or supplement the National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, May 2010 Revised Edition. When using this document, you must have in hand the national specifications referred to above.
The Minimum Standards for Alaska School Buses, 2011 Revised Edition, contains the production and equipment standards required for school buses that transport students to and from school. In addition to national specifications, the Minimum Standards for Alaska School Buses must comply with applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and other state and federal standards applicable to school buses on the date of manufacture.
The Minimum Standards for Alaska School Buses, 2011 Revised Edition, is applicable to school buses manufactured on or after January 1, 2012. Within one year after date of publication of each revised edition of the National School Transportation Specifications for School Buses, it is the intent of the Department of Education & Early Development to review the Alaska Standards and revise as appropriate to conform to public input, national standards, and statutory/regulatory requirements of Alaska.
The Minimum Standards for Alaska School Buses, 2011 Revised Edition, is organized into three distinct sections. The definitions of types of school buses are found on page 15 of the National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, May 2010 Revised Edition.
The Bus Body and Chassis Specifications section sets the standards applicable to school bus bodies and chassis manufactured for, or used in, Alaska.
The Specially Equipped School Bus Specifications section establishes standards for buses used for transporting students with special needs.
The Alaska Bus Equipment Specifications section establishes auxiliary equipment requirements for buses transporting students in Alaska.
Copies of the National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, May 2010 Revised Edition, are available from:
Missouri Safety Center
Central Missouri State University
Humphreys Suite 200
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: (660) 543-4832
Or download from internet site: http://www.ncstonline.org/
BUS BODY AND CHASSIS SPECIFICATIONS
The following Alaska Standards modify or supplement the Bus Body and Chassis Specifications, found on pages 19 through 57 of the National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, May 2010 Revised Edition.
The supplying vendor or dealer shall supply original to the District and copy to the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, Pupil Transportation, certification in writing that its product meets Alaska Minimum Standards on items not covered by the FMVSS certification requirements of CFR 49 Part 567.
A. Body and Chassis. The manufacturer, supplying vendor or dealer will provide with each bus a written certification stating that the bus meets Minimum Standards for Alaska School Buses in effect on date of manufacture of bus.
B. A permanent label or metal plate shall be secured and readily visible above window level in the driver's compartment upon which is stated the bus meets minimum standards for Alaska, un-laden weight, GVWR, and the manufacturer's maximum possible rated seating capacity of the bus.
Replace Color C., page 22 of the National Specifications, with the following:
The roof color shall be school bus yellow consistent with the side and rear body color.
Add Emergency Exits C., page 30 of the National Specifications, to read as follows:
5. Each bus shall have a red or black arrow in the inside and a black arrow on the outside of the emergency door showing direction of throw of handle.
Add to Floors D., page 33 of the National Specifications, the following:
D. The fuel tank access plate shall be insulated.
Add Floors E., page 33 of the National Specifications, to read as follows:
E. The floor shall have an overlay of 5-ply 5/8 inch minimum (1/2” minimum in Type A buses,) marine-grade, or pressure-treated plywood. Edges of wood shall be located no less than ¼” from sides of bus to allow for expansion and contraction. The wood and the steel shall be bonded to prevent accumulation of moisture on the top surface of the steel floor and under the surface of the wood floor.
Add to Fuel System A., page 34 of the National Specifications, with the following:
1. Fuel tank(s). Each tank shall be filled from and vented to the outside of the passenger compartment, and each fuel filler should be placed in a location where accidental fuel spillage will not drip or drain on any part of the exhaust system, flooring or insulation material.
Replace Heating System A. 1 -4, page 35 of the National Specifications, with the following:
1. The heating system shall be capable of maintaining the ambient temperature throughout the bus of not less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit during average minimum January temperature as established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Weather Service (NOAA), for the area in which the vehicle is to be operated. The inside temperature is to be measured midway back in the bus at shoulder height of seated school children.
2. In addition to a front heater/defroster system, Type A and Type B buses shall have a rear heater with a minimum rated heating capacity of 40,000 BTU.
All other buses shall have a heating system with a minimum rated heating capacity of 200,000 BTU, (rated according to SBMI Standards No. 001) distributed as follows:
A. Front heaters (including front heater, defrosters, step-well and driver heater) shall be provided.
B. Mid heaters shall be provided.
C. Rear heaters shall be provided.
3. New heating technology must be approved in advance by the department.
Replace Hinges, page 39 of the National Specifications, with the following:
All exterior doors and hatch hinge pins shall be constructed from stainless steel, brass or non-metallic materials to prevent corrosion and shall be designed to allow lubrication to be channeled to the center 75% of each hinge loop without disassembly.
Replace Identification B., pages 39-40 of the National Specifications, with the following:
1. Ownership identification with minimum five inch high lettering on the beltline or directly below the windows on each side of the bus.
Add Identification D., to page 40 of the National Specifications, to read as follows:
D. There shall be a sign located below the rear window of the bus in area(s) visible to the approaching motorist, which reads STOP ON FLASHING RED. "STOP" shall be printed on the rear of the bus in letters at least 8 inches high. "ON FLASHING RED" shall be printed below "STOP," in letters at least 4 ¾ inches high. The sign shall be red letters on white reflective background.
Replace Insulation (Optional), page 42 of the National Specifications, with the following:
A. All space between the inner and outer panels in the roof, sidewalls, body posts and roof channel cavities, including front and rear body cavities, shall be filled with fiberglass or other insulating material which will meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 302 where applicable. The insulation shall be firmly installed so it will retain its original position.
Lamps and Signals
Add to Lamps and Signals A, page 43 of the National Specifications, the following:
A.1. A loading light shall be installed, outside and to the rear, or above the service door to illuminate the area in front of the door. The step-well light and loading light shall be illuminated by a service door-operated switch, to illuminate only when the service door is open.
Replace Lamps and Signals F., page 45 of the National Specifications, with the following:
F. Roof Mounted Strobe Light
1. A strobe light shall be mounted on the roof of the school bus, and meet all NSTS&P standards J845, with a 4 inch minimum height. The light shall be located on the center line of the roof no less than four (4) feet from the rear of the bus and not to exceed one third (1/3) the body length forward from the rear of the roof edge.
Replace Stirrup Steps, page 52 of the National Specifications, with the following:
If the windshield and lamps are not easily accessible from the ground, there shall be at least one folding stirrup step or recessed foothold and suitably located handles on each side of the front of the body for easy accessibility for cleaning. Steps are permitted in or on the front bumper in lieu of the stirrup steps, if the windshield and lamps are easily accessible for cleaning from that position.
Replace Storage Compartment (Optional), page 53 of the National Specifications, with the following:
A. Storage container for tools, tire chains, and/or tow chains shall be located on the right side of the bus outside the passenger compartment, whenever possible. If inside, it shall be fastened to the floor at rear of bus and have a cover with a positive fastening device.
Add Exhaust C., page 32 of the National Specifications, to read as follows:
C. The exhaust tail pipe may be extended beyond the rear bumper and vertically, to exhaust above the roof line of the bus, and must be shielded or insulated.
Add Windows D., page 57 of the National Specifications, to read as follows:
D. The following windows shall be thermo pane:
1. Window to left of driver. OEM factory standard is acceptable for Type A, Type B and Type C cutaway buses.
2. All windows in service door.
SPECIALLY EQUIPPED SCHOOL BUS SPECIFICATIONS
The following Alaska Standards modify or supplement the Specifications for Specially Equipped School Buses found on pages 61 through 70 of the National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, May 2010 Revised Edition.
See Alaska Bus Equipment Specifications.
Add Special Light B., page 67 of the National Specifications, to read as follows:
A. An exterior light shall be installed within 12 inches of the wheelchair lift door opening.
ALASKA BUS EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS
The following Alaska Standards supplement the Specifications for Bus Chassis, Bus Body and Specially Equipped School Buses found on pages 19 through 70 of the National School Transportation Specifications & Procedures, May 2010 Revised Edition, and in the preceding sections of this Alaska Minimum Standards document.
Equipment listed in this section is required to be on each bus used for transporting school children before the bus is placed into service. However, the nature of this equipment is such that it can be easily moved from a retired bus to a new one, and may not need to be purchased for each replacement bus. School bus manufacturers are not required to provide this equipment unless the items are specified in the purchase order.
All school buses shall be equipped with a two-way electronic voice communication system before the bus is placed into service. Systems may be provided by end-user.
Add Emergency Equipment A. 3. page 29 of the National Specifications, to read as follows:
A. Fire extinguishers shall be ABC 5 (five) pound and affixed with a current certification tag unless within first year of manufacture date code of fire extinguisher.
B. Body Fluid Clean-up Kit
1. Each bus shall have a removable moisture proof and dust proof body fluid clean-up kit mounted in an accessible place within the driver's compartment. This place shall be marked to identify its location.
2. Minimum contents shall include:
1-cardboard scraper and scoop
1-pair latex disposable gloves
2-packages germicidal hand wipes
1-disposable face mask
3-disposable paper towels
1-4 oz. package stabilized chlorine absorbent deodorant or equivalent.
Detailed instructions on use of contents shall accompany each kit.
4. A State certification seal will be placed over the clasp of the first aid and body fluid kit to insure the kit is complete. A broken seal indicates it is a repair item.
Add to D., page 30 of the National Specifications, the following:
D. Warning Devices
When flares are utilized, they must be stored in an exterior compartment and labeled accordingly. The flares must be in a waterproof container and expiration dates must be legible.
If expired it will be a repair item.
Each bus shall be equipped with
rear mud flaps.
Tire Chains and Tire Chocks
Tire chains and tire chocks are required and must be stored in a storage compartment. Ref. Storage Compartment/Bus Body Specifications for storage
Optional items: Dependent on climate, demographic, and District areas. (Including, but not limited to.)
Auxiliary driving lights (moose lights), window fans, auxiliary heaters, thermo pane windows in passenger area, crossing gates, drop chains, heated step treads, rear air foils, rear stop arms, and heated wiper blades.
Form # 05-13-006
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development