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Policies and Procedures
Bus Trip Procedure


Field trips are an important part of the educational experience at ESF.  Many of these trips require the use of buses to transport groups of 16 or more.  In order to provide for the safe transportation of students and employees and to define the duties of both Bus Trip Leaders and Bus Drivers, the following procedure has been established.  

  • This procedure applies to all College trips requiring the use of buses.  
  • Buses are defined as vehicles authorized to carry 16 or more passengers.
  • Each bus trip must have an assigned Bus Trip Leader who must be designated when reserving a bus (see attached Bus Reservation Form). 
  • The Bus Trip Leader must be an employee of the State of New York or the Research Foundation of SUNY.  Persons eligible to be Bus Trip Leaders include ESF faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and visiting professors, if on State- or RF-paid status.  NOTE:  Work-study students are not eligible to be Bus Trip Leaders.
  • The Bus Trip Leader must travel with the bus, either as a passenger or in a sepa­rate vehicle that remains in visual contact with the bus.
  • To ensure the safety of passengers, all bus trips from the Syracuse campus will load and unload only at the designated Stadium Place site.
  • Details of the responsibilities of both the Bus Trip Leader and Bus Driver follow on Pages 2 and 3.

Responsibilities of the Bus Trip Leader

Each College-sponsored trip requiring the use of a bus (i.e., 16 or more passengers) must have a designated Bus Trip Leader who accompanies the bus.  The Bus Trip Leader, who must be an employee of the State of New York or the Research Foundation of SUNY, shall:  

  1. Identify himself or herself to the Bus Driver and the trip participants.
  2. Make provisions for the loading and unloading of equipment and passengers at the designated site, ensuring that equipment is stored so as not to present a safety or health hazard during transport by using storage compartments whenever possible and keeping equipment secured and baggage out of aisles.  Equipment must not block exits or aisles and must not present a safety hazard.  Equipment and supplies, including hazardous chemicals, that cannot be stored without creating a safety haz­ard, must be transported in a separate vehicle.  Any questions or concerns relative to this matter should be scheduled well in advance of the scheduled trip with Vehicle Service Center personnel. 
  3. Conduct a pre-trip briefing for passengers that, minimally mentions that all Stu­dent Handbook and College policies are in effect during bus trips, including the College’s Smoking, Alcohol, and Drug-Free Workplace Policies.
  4. In the case of a charter, ensure that the list of emergency phone numbers (provided by Physical Plant with the confirmation packet) is on the bus. 
  5. Introduce the Bus Driver who will provide a briefing on bus safety provisions.
  6. Be responsible for taking a head count and authorizing all departures of the bus during the trip.
  7. Be available to provide the Bus Driver with navigation instructions throughout the trip as necessary.
  8. Pay tolls, parking fees, and other incidental costs associated with the trip.
  9. In emergency situations, make decisions regarding the need to call for medical or other emergency support; communicate with emergency personnel; make arrange­ments for the safety of passengers; and notify ESF Public Safety at (315) 470-6666 of emergency events.
  10. Immediately address any situation that, in the judgment of the Bus Trip Leader, threatens the safety of the passengers or driver.  Examples of action that might be required include asking the driver to bring the bus to a halt and calling for emer­gency medical or law enforcement assistance.  The Bus Trip Leader is not expected to personally render emergency assistance or enforce laws.

Report violations of College rules and policies (including drug, alcohol, etc.) to the appropriate College administrator as soon as possible after occurrence.  Employee violations should be reported to the Director of Human Resources at (315) 470-6611 and student violations to the Assistant Director of Student Activities at (315) 470-6658.

Responsibilities of the Bus Driver

When a College employee is driving a College-owned bus, the assigned Bus Driver will, in addition to the normal duties required by the Federal Transportation Com­mission and New York State Motor Vehicle Law, be responsible for assuring that:

  1. A cellular telephone is properly functioning and on the bus.
  2. A current list of emergency service telephone numbers is on the bus.
  3. The Bus Trip Leader identified in the reservation request, or an appropriate designee, is present.
  4. A pre-trip briefing on bus safety provisions, including location and operation of fire extinguishers and emergency exits, is conducted for passengers.
  5. The designated Bus Trip Leader is advised of any activity that could result in an unsafe situation or be a violation of College rules and policies.
  6. The bus is brought to a stop at any time the Bus Driver or Bus Trip Leader determines that it is not safe to proceed.

When the bus is provided through charter agreement, the charter company will provide a two-way radio for emergency communication, and their Bus Driver is expected to comply with responsibilities numbered 3 through 6, above.  In this case, the Bus Trip Leader then takes responsibility for having the list of emergency tele­phone numbers on the bus (as provided by Physical Plant with the confirmation packet). 

REMINDER:  If there is no Bus Trip Leader, there will be no bus trip.