1. Adopt a written idling reduction policy.
School bus drivers will shut off bus engines immediately upon reaching their destination and will not idle their buses while waiting for passengers. This rule applies to all bus use including daily route travel, field trips, and transportation to and from athletic events. School bused should not be restarted until they are ready to depart and there is a clear path to exit the pick-up area.
During winter months, drivers will limit idling time during early morning warm-up to time needed to perform pre-trip safety inspection. Individual schools should provide an indoor waiting space for drivers who arrive early and need to keep warm. This reduces the need for bus idling.
If a bus needs the engine to run flashing lights during longer duration loading and unloading, maintenance staff should install a heavy duty battery system, an extra battery and/or change the circuit configurations to power lights by battery without running the engine.
To reduce engine warm-up time, avoid starting difficulties, and help defrost windows, consider using block heaters that plug into electrical outlets or inline auxiliary fuel fired heaters.
2. Publicize the new policy to the school community.
Explain the program to students, parents and community groups in newsletters and at school committee and PTA meetings.
3. Post "idling limit" signs.
Alert drivers - both bus drivers and parents who idle their vehicles while waiting for school dismissal - that engines should be turned off when vehicles are waiting or parked.
4. Redesign school bus parking zones to minimize the potential for diesel exhaust inside the bus and in the school.
Move bus parking areas away from school air intake vents. Park buses at a diagonal to prevent front-to-back passing of emissions and reduce diesel fumes in each bus.
5. Apply idling reduction rules to other diesel vehicles.
Delivery trucks and construction equipment create the same pollution that buses do.
6. Ensure that future transportation contracts include idling reduction requirements.
Also require existing buses to be retrofitted with pollution controls and new buses added to the fleet to be equipped with cleaner burning engines.