How will school buses adjust to adhere to NYS health guidelines?

Local News

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — There are still many questions as to how school bus companies will adjust to health guidelines such as how face masks will be used and how they’ll maintain social distancing.

According to NYS guidelines for reopening schools, when it comes to school transportation students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance while on a bus.

But the question remains, who will be enforcing that while children are on the bus?

Will it be bus drivers? Bus aides? How will social distancing happen? Those are all questions that hasn’t been answered yet.

The state’s guidelines also say the only exception to the mask requirement is for “students whose physical or mental health would be impaired by wearing one.” Those students would still have to social distance.

News 4 reached out to the bus companies in western New York including First Student Inc. and Student Transportation of America to get their plans.

First Student says they’re developing a customized plan that “meets the needs of the district while providing a safe and clean school bus environment for the students.”

In a statement to News 4, a spokesperson for Student Transportation of America says in part that they’re working on strategies to ensure the safety of both drivers and students. They’re also continuing to monitor government agencies for their guidance and recommendations.

The New York Association for Pupil Transportation says its still waiting for clarification from the state on how to move forward but they say they’re expecting reduced capacity on buses to allow for better social distancing.

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