Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I contact the Transportation Department?
Call (425) 837-6333

What about bad weather?
Safety is important. A network of staff check district roads beginning at 3 a.m. when there is a storm or prediction of one. They check out weather and road conditions and make a decision about school closures or delays. An explanation of what happens during closures or delays is included in the district's Emergency Transportation bulletin. That brochure, mailed each November, goes to all district families and includes critical information about weather-related or other emergency school situations.

How are drivers qualified and trained?
Issaquah's more than 100 drivers and substitute drivers meet the standards set by Washington law for school bus drivers. Each attends and must pass an authorization training class and exam. The classroom and behind-the-wheel sessions test their skills and judgment. During classes, drivers rehearse what might happen on a daily basis and practice emergency procedures. Each has a current First Aid/CPR card as well as a commercial driver's license. Each driver is at least 21 years old, has passed an FBI and Washington State Patrol criminal check and a pre-employment drug test. Each year our drivers take continual in-service training and attend safety awareness and training sessions.

How is bus safety maintained?
In August each year, the more than 100 buses in the fleet undergo an exhaustive exam by half a dozen Washington State Patrol. The troopers spend two full days testing everything from the brakes to the mirrors. In nine of the thirteen years of such inspections since 1987, Issaquah has earned a 100% safety rating in that annual inspection--a record that may well be the highest in the state. Each winter, the State Patrol performs additional surprise inspections on 25% of the fleet. As we have in the August inspections, Issaquah continues to score well in this measure of attention to student safety.

How is transportation funded?
The costs of buses, fuel, repair, and staff are covered by a combination of state and local taxes. The state uses a standard estimated distance traveled formula plus an early fall ridership count to determine how much of our transportation costs they will cover and how much are covered by local maintenance and operations (M&O) levy dollars. The transportation budget for 2004-2005 is approximately $4.8 million. More than half of that is covered by local M&O funds.

How far? How much?

  • Annual mileage for the bus fleet totals over 1,000,000 miles.
  • The buses use over 170,000 gallons of fuel
  • During an average year, the fleet will need:
    • 200 tires
    • 300 oil filters
    • 1600 gallons of oil
  • Preventive maintenance is performed on the buses every 1,500-2,000 miles

How do you wash your buses?
Our environmentally responsible bus wash, using recycled water, keeps our school buses clean and shiny. Wash water drains into a holding tank where the dirt and heavy particles settle to the bottom. The cleaner water at the top is pumped into sprayers and used again. This method is simple and effective in saving water and controlling pollution. In fact, the Transportation Department won a storm water pollution prevention award from the City of Issaquah for their efforts.

Would you like to be a bus driver or substitute driver?
If you enjoy kids, a vacation schedule with your family, weekends off, good pay, and working with an outstanding team of dedicated employees, driving a school bus may be just the job for you! Issaquah School District Transportation Services will provide the training and help you meet the requirements. Interested? Call (425) 837-6338 for more information.

What should I teach my child about safe bus riding?
Bus safety guidelines for parents and students can be found in Bus Safety Tips.

National Bus Safety Report