New Hanover County Schools
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Transportation Department

Use of Charter Buses 


New Hanover County Schools, in an effort to provide the safest transportation for all students, maintains a list of charter motorcoach carriers that are approved for use in transporting students during various activities. These carriers are carefully inspected to ensure that they adhere to specific safety standards before they are approved for the transportation of New Hanover County School students.

Pre-qualification background checks of commercial motorcoach carriers include site visits, reference checks, insurance documentation, driver qualifications, and review of the company’s drug and alcohol testing programs.  It also includes a vehicle inspection, a review of pre-qualification documents as outlined by the SCTSC (School Charter Transportation Safety Committee), and a review of contract requirements.

The schools should only use charter motorcoach carriers on the approved list maintained by New Hanover County Schools, but the schools will not be required to use any particular carrier on the list. 

The following is a list of approved charter motor coach carriers for your information and use:

 Commercial Motorcoach Carriers

The school principal or designee shall ensure that safety standards prior to each use of a charter motorcoach carrier include:

1) Assuring that the number of vehicles and drivers for the trip is sufficient to assure the safety of the students being transported; and

2) Providing safety and evacuation training to all students prior to any trip.

Use of Passenger Vans

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a “bus” as any vehicle, including a van, which has a capacity of 11 persons or more including the driver.  A bus becomes a “school bus” if it is to be used to transport students to and from school or school-related events.  A school bus must meet certain federal safety standards.

The NHTSA issued a warning to users of vans with a capacity of 11 or more persons because of an increased rollover risk under certain conditions.  School children should be transported in school buses which provide the highest level of safety, not in 11 person passenger vans, or larger, which do not meet the stringent school bus standards.