What is an MFSAB?
MFSAB or Multi-Function School Activity Bus is a is distinction for a bus which meets all of the safety requirements of a School Bus without a Stop Arm, Eight-Way Warning Lights, or Yellow Paint.
Multi-Function School Activity Buses meet the needs of public school systems looking for a way to transport students to sanctioned after-school activities.
If you are a Private School, Child-Care Center, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Recreation Department, or Summer Camp or another business or organization who transports school-age children an MFSAB allows is you to follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's school bus safety standards even though you are not allowed to own a "school bus".
"Buses sold to child-care providers and other entities that routinely drop students off at school or pick them up from school are required to be buses that meet the school bus safety standards, even though the purchasing organizations are not schools themselves".-NHTSA Definition of Multifunction School Activity Bus
MFSAB Legal Requirements-
There are two basic legal requirements which make the MFSAB distinction a practical choice
- The first is the requirement that "school children" are transported in vehicles which meet all of the safety standards applied to a school bus.
- The second is the requirement that anyone who drives a school bus must have a "school bus" endorsement on their driver's license; typically this means that teachers and coaches are unable to drive a school bus to an after-school activity or sports game.
So you may wonder. When do you need a school bus and when do you need an MFSAB?
If you are transporting school children on a regularly scheduled recurring route you need to transport those students in a School Bus driven by a "school bus driver". This includes a bus that stops along the road letting students off at or near their homes.
If you are taking school children to a one-time event outside the school where the bus will not be stopping on the street to discharge students at or near their homes you can utilize an MFSAB. This provision allows you the flexibility of having a teacher or coach who does not have a school bus endorsement drive their team or class to the outside activity.
It is important to note that there is nothing to stop you from using a school bus for the afterschool event so long as the person driving has the correct "school bus" endorsement.