Recommendations on 15-Passenger Van Alternatives
Be careful not to use vehicles (small buses or vans) that are basically modified 15-passenger vans with only cosmetic changes and not safety modifications. Any vehicle which is basically a commercial "cutaway" vehicle with an E-350, E-250, 3500, or 2500 chassis (15-passenger van chassis) should have dual rear wheels (two wheels on each end of the rear axle) to promote greater vehicle stability or meet Federal school bus safety regulations Title 49 Part 571 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards* (with the exception of regulations #108 involving school bus lights, and #131 involving school bus stop bars). These vehicles typically have 15-passenger van front ends with the remainder of the passenger body "cut away" and replaced with a larger body. Note: if the primary purpose is for the transportation of high school and younger students, it is required that the vehicle meet Federal school bus safety regulations (*To ensure that a vehicle meets this standard, ask the leasing agency to verify that the bus meets the standard.
Departments should make certain that the company being hired has the appropriate commercial automobile insurance. It is recommended that the company have at least a liability limit of $5,000,000 per accident for all owned, hired, and non-owned buses, and $1,000,000 per accident for all owned, hired, and non-owned vehicles other than buses. It would be appropriate to ask them to provide you with a certificate of insurance as evidence of coverage. You may fax (434-982-2635) these to the Property & Liability Risk Management Office for review and advice. Questions regarding procurement guidelines for such activities should be referred to Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services.