Winter Weather: Ensuring Safe and On-Time Arrival for Students

Winter has arrived, and with it comes harsh weather conditions that pose a challenge for school bus operations. At Montauk Bus, the safety of our students is our top priority, which is why we take extra precautions to ensure that every aspect of our operations is prepared for the winter weather. In this blog, we will highlight the steps we take to ensure that your students arrive at school safely and on time, even in the most challenging winter weather.

Starting the Buses

The job of Montauk Bus is to safely transport students to and from school, and that job starts before the bus even shows up at the stop. To ensure the comfort and safety of our students, it is company policy that all 350+ buses are started each morning when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This requires extra effort from our maintenance and yard crews, who come in earlier than regularly scheduled or required, to start the buses and make sure they are warm for the students to board. By doing this, we are able to provide a comfortable and safe ride to school for our students.

Regular Vehicle Servicing

Preventative maintenance is key to ensuring the safety of our students, and we never neglect it. Our diligent attention to maintenance has resulted in a 99% passing rate from the Department of Transportation, which means that our vehicles are equipped and ready to handle even the harshest winter conditions. We follow the recommended service schedule from the manufacturer to ensure that our buses are running smoothly, avoiding breakdowns and enhancing performance for the safe transportation of our students.

Vehicle Inspections

As a professional commercial driver, our drivers are required to perform a pre-trip and post-trip inspection before and after every shift. This routine is crucial in ensuring the safety of our students, and becomes that much more important in the winter months due to the harsh conditions on the vehicles. During their pre-trip inspection, our drivers must check a comprehensive list of items to ensure the vehicle is ready for operation, including but not limited to:

  • Tires, wheels, rims and hub caps
  • Lights, including headlamps, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights
  • Windshield wipers and defrost system
  • Brake system, including the air compressor, brakes and parking brakes
  • Fuel and oil levels
  • Mirrors and windows

In addition to these checks, our drivers also make sure that the roof is cleared of snow or ice to eliminate the threat of it falling and blocking the front windshield while driving. They verify that the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow and that windows are cleared of snow and ice. These extra steps are taken to ensure that the bus is in proper working order and can safely transport our students in the harsh winter conditions.

Driving Safely in Winter Weather

In addition to preparing the buses, our drivers also take extra precautions when driving in inclement weather. They adjust their speed to weather conditions and slow down on wet, snowy, and icy roads to prepare for sudden stops. They are cautious of ice patches on bridges, overpasses, and in shaded, hard-to-see areas. They keep the windshield clear and make sure that headlights, windshield wiper blades, and defrosters are functioning properly. They also avoid using cruise control in icy or slick conditions.

Timeliness is Key

At Montauk Bus, we understand the importance of being on time to bus stops along the routes, especially during the winter months when students are waiting outside in the cold. Our drivers are trained to arrive at the bus stops on time, ensuring that your students are not left waiting in the cold.

To ensure the best communication and stay informed about transportation and school updates during winter, it's recommended to contact your local district and see if they have adopted our parent mobile app provided by Routr. This app provides real-time updates on bus location, arrival time, and other important information, giving you peace of mind and keeping you informed about your student's transportation.

The safety of our riders is our top priority, and we take every precaution to ensure that they arrive at school safely and on time, even in the most challenging winter weather conditions. We are committed to going above and beyond to provide a safe and comfortable transportation experience for your family.

For quote information on bus services and quotes, please contact us today.