New York State school bus for 3 year old


New member
Is there a standard way NYS handles child restraints for preschool transportation? All the info I have from mom right now is they provide restraints for children under age 4, no info about what type of bus or if it is a van. Is it up to each school district? I want to be able to tell mom what to check for to be sure everything is correct, assuming they let her on the bus to check.


I'm not sure... but I did talk to someone at the last check I went to who drives a Head Start bus. She said that the bus has built-in harnesses for each kid. Our school district doesn't have any programs for pre-4's.

Sorry I'm not more help. Did you look around the state website at all?


New member
IIRC, in NY the bus rules are the same as the car rules, so unless the 3 year old is over 40 lbs, she's gotta be in a harnessed seat on the bus. In my area beyond that it's district by district how that's achieved.


Admin - CPST Instructor
In NYS all children 4 and under (who aren't in K yet) should be transported in a 5-pt harness on the school bus (could be a traditional FF CR or bus-specific restraint like a harness, vest or STAR restraint) but my experience is that exceptions are sometimes made (by the bus company) for children who are too large to fit in the typical CR.

It is also possible that the child will be transported in a minivan or SUV but it must be clearly marked as a school transport vehicle. If this is the case then the child could be transported in a 5-pt or a BPB.

Is the child average-sized and under 40 lbs?


New member
He is 40" and 40 pounds. I know the preschool has his height and weight on file but I don't know if it is passed along for bussing information.


Admin - CPST Instructor
He is 40" and 40 pounds. I know the preschool has his height and weight on file but I don't know if it is passed along for bussing information.
Don't count on it, unfortunately. And most bus companies are fairly clueless and wouldn't necessarily know that he's at the wt (and probably the ht limit too) for a simple inexpensive conventional CR like a Scenera or Cosco HBB.

The best thing she can do is snap a pic of the CR on day one before she puts him in his seat. The driver/monitor will usually play along on day one and let the parent on board even if they don't really want her there.

She can try to contact the bus company before he starts transport but I wouldn't put much stock in whatever they tell her. At the very least, they should be able to tell her if it will be a mini bus or a passenger vehicle like a minivan or SUV that her child will be transported in.

Sorry if I sound jaded but I've had quite a few experiences with bus companies here in NY and honestly, the very best she can hope for is an integrated bus seat. All of our preschool transport buses in my county have them and they're ideal because they are rated to higher weights and you don't have to worry about proper installation:

The next best thing would be a STAR restraint:



New member
Thanks. He's definitely too tall for any Cosco harnessed seats- he's outgrowing the MyRide FF now. I'll give her pictures of what seats they might have for him that would be outgrown already and see if she could find somebody to drive him that day if need be. I hope they have an integrated seat for him, good to know about the high weight limits.

If they only have outgrown seats available, would she have to provide a seat he fits in? Would the Maestro install ok on a bus? I'm getting a little ahead of myself but I just want it to go smoothly- school itself is enough of a transition!


New member
I'm interested in how this plays out.

When dd was in elementary school, (in a long yellow bus) I called to complain that the alternate driver didn't give my daughter enough time to buckle her seatbelt before driving away from our spot.

The transportation departement told me that while NY State law required that seatbelts be available, the children were not required to use them (!!!)

I started standing in front of the bus until I saw she was buckled.


New member
The road she lives on is one long row of apartment buildings that I drive past every morning, they take off as soon as the kids get on, there's a bus stop in the morning every few driveways. I really hope they have an aid to buckle him or will pull in her parking lot to let mom buckle him. Maybe they'll stay in place long enough for him to buckle since it's afternoon pickup.

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