School Bus Types

Updated 5/21/2021

 

School buses are described by different types and classifications.  This page summarizes design features unique to different school bus types.

 

Type A

Type A school buses are constructed utilizing a cutaway front section vehicle with a left side driver’s door.  Type A school buses include two classifications:

  • Type A1, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less
  • Type A2, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds

 

Type B

Type B school buses are constructed utilizing a stripped chassis.  The entrance door of a Type B school bus is behind the front wheels.  Type B school buses include two classifications:

  • Type B1, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less
  • Type B2, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds

 

Type C

A Type C school bus is constructed utilizing a chassis with a hood and front fender assembly.

The entrance door of a Type C school bus is behind the front wheels.

 

Type D

A Type D school bus is constructed utilizing a stripped chassis.  The entrance door of a Type D school bus is ahead of the front wheels.  A Type D school bus is also known as “Transit style” or “Forward control vehicle.”  Type D school buses include two classifications:

  • Type D FE (front engine)
  • Type D RE (rear engine)

 

Multifunction School Activity Bus (MFSAB)

A multifunction school activity bus (MFSAB) is defined as “a school bus whose purposes do not include transporting students to and from home or school bus stops,” as defined under U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulation 49 CFR 571.3. 

This subcategory (MFSAB) of school bus meets all U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) for school buses except for those requiring the installation of traffic control requirements (alternat flashing signal and stop arm).  U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) created this new subcategory of school bus in 2003.  If a new school bus will be used to transport students between school and home, or between school and school bus stops, an MFSAB must not be sold.

 

Federal Vehicle Regulations

U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) are U.S. federal vehicle regulations specifying design, construction, performance, and durability requirements for motor vehicles and regulated automobile safety-related components, systems, and design features.