Weather Emergency Procedures for School Buses

Severe weather can often delay, or stop, school bus transportation. When this happens, we coordinate with other city agencies and take the following actions:

Timeline and Preparation

  • The NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM) office monitors bad weather and major emergencies
  • NYCEM declares a weather emergency that may severely delay bus service

Support

  • Following the declaration of an emergency, DOE and NYCEM collect, monitor, and share information on route delays and stranded vehicles.
  • The NYPD, Fire Department, and NYCEM coordinate to secure support resources.
  • The DOE initiates call center surge staffing; language access options are included.
  • Automated telephone calls are made to provide information about delays and/or cancellations to families.
  • The DOE will directly contact families of students on buses that are significantly delayed.

Shelter or Relief

If a bus cannot continue its route for safety reasons, the bus company will notify the DOE Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) and provide it with:

  • The location of the vehicle and the route
  • Any emergencies related to students or passengers on the bus
  • The conditions of the current and surrounding streets
  • Any nearby road hazards (such as a fallen tree)
  • Whether the bus has sufficient emergency supplies
  • Whether the route was already reported to the OPT call center
  • Any other important information

OPT will then work with Division of School Facilities (DSF) and NYCEM to advise the bus company of the closest school at which to seek temporary shelter.

The bus driver will proceed to that school when safe to do so.

Get Information During an Emergency

  • Check our website and Twitter (@NYCSchoolBuses)
  • Listen to your local radio station starting at 6AM for announcements
  • Contact your school for closing and opening delay notifications
  • Call 311 for information about a school during an emergency
  • Call OPT for bus-related assistance at 718-392-8855
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