After finding a good used bus, you’ll need a good transportation policy. Commercial bus companies keep policies, and so should you. Whether you have settled on a used passenger van or mini bus, you need a policy for your drivers, the church, and the passengers. Safety is the primary concern here, and assigning responsibility to specific people will prevent finger-pointing down the line. Consider these questions when you sit down to establish your policy.
- Will your church bus transport other groups or ministries?
- How far in advance must a trip be scheduled?
- What adult/child ratios are acceptable? How much supervision is required for youth trips?
- Who will clean the bus? When?
- How much insurance coverage will be purchased?
- What conduct is expected of the passengers? How much luggage can passengers bring?
- Who, how, and where, will all trips taken with the bus be logged?
- What kind of safety equipment will be kept on the bus at all times?
- How often will the vehicle be inspected? What will be checked?
- Which bus parts warehouse will be used in the event that bus parts need to be purchased?
- During what hours and days can the bus be operated?
- For how many hours can the bus driver operate the bus in a 24 hour period?
- What sort of verification process must a driver go through before they are allowed to drive the bus?
Finding a good used bus is hard, but you’ll find that creating a transportation policy is even harder unless you use these guidelines to get started. Remember, this is not an inclusive list, but a springboard for related issues around responsibility, and safety. If you know of other ministries with church buses, you can ask them for recommendations on what they have done. Now that you’re through with the stress of finding a good used bus, and creating a transportation policy, you can move forward with enjoying the benefits of your church bus. See this reference for more.