Identifying School Bus Channels

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DaveNF2G

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I don't know if it's a Capital area thing, or just modern times.

When I was growing up in western NY, each school district had its own fleet of buses. If you heard mention of schools in a particular district, then you were most likely hearing their buses. There were occasional crossovers, but they were relatively easy to sort out.

Nowadays, school buses seem to go just about everywhere. It is very difficult to sort out whose buses are on which channel.

For example, one provider I have been monitoring serves Albany and Troy (it's not Durham; I have them already, unless this is another system they use). Another serves Ballston Lake and South Troy. Pretty far apart. Another brings kids between Rensselaer and Troy. And so on.

I have a current list of 9 unidentified school bus channels. One thing that makes both easier and more difficult at the same time is that school bus drivers chatter almost constantly. Lots of details to help with identification, but scanning multiple channels is a challenge with all the traffic.
 

bravo14

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I don't know if it's a Capital area thing, or just modern times.

When I was growing up in western NY, each school district had its own fleet of buses. If you heard mention of schools in a particular district, then you were most likely hearing their buses. There were occasional crossovers, but they were relatively easy to sort out.

Nowadays, school buses seem to go just about everywhere. It is very difficult to sort out whose buses are on which channel.

For example, one provider I have been monitoring serves Albany and Troy (it's not Durham; I have them already, unless this is another system they use). Another serves Ballston Lake and South Troy. Pretty far apart. Another brings kids between Rensselaer and Troy. And so on.

I have a current list of 9 unidentified school bus channels. One thing that makes both easier and more difficult at the same time is that school bus drivers chatter almost constantly. Lots of details to help with identification, but scanning multiple channels is a challenge with all the traffic.
Where I use to live at one county north of me they had 3 different school buses. 1 Was on Conv. the other 2 on a trunk system LTR. Its hard to get the company cause they don't say who they are expect for the bus number(s). Have you try close call near one of the buses?
 

Thunderknight

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Nowadays, school buses seem to go just about everywhere. It is very difficult to sort out whose buses are on which channel.
They can be trips to special ed schools, BOCES, private schools.

There is a special ed type school near me...I routinely see about 5 different school district buses (and an SUV from a far one - almost an hour away) in the area.

If they are later in the day that you are hearing, it can be athletic trips, taking the team to a match.
 

seagravebuff60

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I don't know if it's a Capital area thing, or just modern times.

When I was growing up in western NY, each school district had its own fleet of buses. If you heard mention of schools in a particular district, then you were most likely hearing their buses. There were occasional crossovers, but they were relatively easy to sort out.

Nowadays, school buses seem to go just about everywhere. It is very difficult to sort out whose buses are on which channel.

For example, one provider I have been monitoring serves Albany and Troy (it's not Durham; I have them already, unless this is another system they use). Another serves Ballston Lake and South Troy. Pretty far apart. Another brings kids between Rensselaer and Troy. And so on.

I have a current list of 9 unidentified school bus channels. One thing that makes both easier and more difficult at the same time is that school bus drivers chatter almost constantly. Lots of details to help with identification, but scanning multiple channels is a challenge with all the traffic.
Hey,
What kind of scanner are you using and what kind of frequency have you discovered, if you don't mind sharing.

Nowadays, school buses seem to go just about everywhere. It is very difficult to sort out whose buses are on which channel.
I had Some trouble with a bus frequency that i was motoring, i'm still trying to figure this out if your interested ill be happy to share more.
 
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DaveNF2G

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This is my current list. I keep it as a textfile, and I have similar lists for medical transportation (non-emergency), taxicabs and towing, along with VHF, UHF and 800 MHz "sweeps" of unknowns.

I'd like to start some simple "Unknowns" threads based on these lists here in the NY forum, but I believe the mods would prefer that the Wiki be used. l don't have time this month to do the conversions.

Capital District School Buses

(Some listed district frequencies might not be used for buses.)

Averill Park Wells Poestenkill 0-01-050 {1}
Berlin 460.6125/D712 {2}
Bethlehem 152.3450/71.9 {3}
Bethlehem 157.6050/71.9 (input to 152.345)
Colonie North 01D6/337
Colonie South 01D6/327
Duanesburg 464.6750/?
Durham Transportation Albany Wells Helderburg Mtn 0-05-028
East Greenbush 453.9750/D032
Folmsbee's Transportation Goin Mobile Bald Mtn 0-03-001
Galway 153.9050/?
Guilderland 47.4600/D464
Mohonasen 463.8000/85.4 {4}
Niskayuna Niskayuna 0-10-041
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 453.1500/114.8
Saratoga Springs 464.9375/CC1
Schenectady City 464.7500/?
Scotia-Glenville b Goin Mobile Crawford 0-09-003 {5}
Scotia-Glenville m Goin Mobile Crawford 0-09-004 {5}
Shenendehowa 461.6250/94.8
Stanski Transportation 452.1000/D331 FleetSync 234 prefix
Troy Enlarged SD 464.3750/D134 (not buses)
Voorheesville 464.4750/151.4

UNIDENTIFIED

school bus 1 Goin Mobile Crawford 0-04-054 {6}
school bus 4 Goin Mobile Willard Mtn 0-09-053 {7}
school bus 5 Wells Helderburg Mtn 0-05-022 {8}
school bus 7 Wells Helderburg Mtn 0-05-029 {9}
school bus 9 Wells Willard Mtn 1-01-060
school bus 10 451.6500/131.8
school bus 11 463.5250/CC1 Slot 1 XPT
school bus 12 461.9750/110.9 {10}
school bus 13 OneVoice 600110 {11}

{1} 300 base
{2} 203 base?
{3} 500 base, MDC
{4} 582 base, MDC
{5} FleetSync 110 prefix, also appears on 0-18-164 & 165 w/no voice
{6} 972 base, FleetSync 300 prefix (serves BHBL)
{7} digital QRM, small buses (serves Saratoga Springs)
{8} DTMF (serves Rensselaer Questar, Troy Middle & High)
{9} 754 base, DTMF calling, MDC PTT, animal names (serves Troy, Albany Leadership, military schools)(not Star & Strand)
{10} DTMF
{11} Berkshire County
 

seagravebuff60

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This is my current list. I keep it as a textfile, and I have similar lists for medical transportation (non-emergency), taxicabs and towing, along with VHF, UHF and 800 MHz "sweeps" of unknowns.

I'd like to start some simple "Unknowns" threads based on these lists here in the NY forum, but I believe the mods would prefer that the Wiki be used. l don't have time this month to do the conversions.

Capital District School Buses

(Some listed district frequencies might not be used for buses.)

Averill Park Wells Poestenkill 0-01-050 {1}
Berlin 460.6125/D712 {2}
Bethlehem 152.3450/71.9 {3}
Bethlehem 157.6050/71.9 (input to 152.345)
Colonie North 01D6/337
Colonie South 01D6/327
Duanesburg 464.6750/?
Durham Transportation Albany Wells Helderburg Mtn 0-05-028
East Greenbush 453.9750/D032
Folmsbee's Transportation Goin Mobile Bald Mtn 0-03-001
Galway 153.9050/?
Guilderland 47.4600/D464
Mohonasen 463.8000/85.4 {4}
Niskayuna Niskayuna 0-10-041
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 453.1500/114.8
Saratoga Springs 464.9375/CC1
Schenectady City 464.7500/?
Scotia-Glenville b Goin Mobile Crawford 0-09-003 {5}
Scotia-Glenville m Goin Mobile Crawford 0-09-004 {5}
Shenendehowa 461.6250/94.8
Stanski Transportation 452.1000/D331 FleetSync 234 prefix
Troy Enlarged SD 464.3750/D134 (not buses)
Voorheesville 464.4750/151.4

UNIDENTIFIED

school bus 1 Goin Mobile Crawford 0-04-054 {6}
school bus 4 Goin Mobile Willard Mtn 0-09-053 {7}
school bus 5 Wells Helderburg Mtn 0-05-022 {8}
school bus 7 Wells Helderburg Mtn 0-05-029 {9}
school bus 9 Wells Willard Mtn 1-01-060
school bus 10 451.6500/131.8
school bus 11 463.5250/CC1 Slot 1 XPT
school bus 12 461.9750/110.9 {10}
school bus 13 OneVoice 600110 {11}

{1} 300 base
{2} 203 base?
{3} 500 base, MDC
{4} 582 base, MDC
{5} FleetSync 110 prefix, also appears on 0-18-164 & 165 w/no voice
{6} 972 base, FleetSync 300 prefix (serves BHBL)
{7} digital QRM, small buses (serves Saratoga Springs)
{8} DTMF (serves Rensselaer Questar, Troy Middle & High)
{9} 754 base, DTMF calling, MDC PTT, animal names (serves Troy, Albany Leadership, military schools)(not Star & Strand)
{10} DTMF
{11} Berkshire County
Wow, that's a nice organized list.!

Anyhow, for the unidentified frequency's, what i usually do to identify the communications is let my saner record a certain frequency for a certain day and the review the communications to see if i can identify something.

Also, what kind of scanner are you using and does it support GPS?

Hope all this helps
- Nick
 
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DaveNF2G

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I have monitored and/or recorded for weeks on some of these and not been able to nail down the unknowns. I am beginning to think the only way to do it is to start finding school buses on the road. Not sure I want to trigger that level of paranoia, though. :)

All of the scanners support GPS, but the above list was compiled from fixed locations so GPS is irrelevant. Also, most of the unknowns are on business repeaters or trunked systems, so knowing where the transmitters are does not help much.
 

seagravebuff60

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I have monitored and/or recorded for weeks on some of these and not been able to nail down the unknowns. I am beginning to think the only way to do it is to start finding school buses on the road. Not sure I want to trigger that level of paranoia, though. :)

All of the scanners support GPS, but the above list was compiled from fixed locations so GPS is irrelevant. Also, most of the unknowns are on business repeaters or trunked systems, so knowing where the transmitters are does not help much.
From what it sounds like, finding school buses on the road is the best idea, i'm at a loss.
 

Ensnared

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Curious

I have been puzzled when hearing other have talked about monitoring places like McDonalds and other businesses. I don't understand what is interesting about such. The same question arises with school buses. What kind of things happen on school bus frequencies?
 

pinballwiz86

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I have been puzzled when hearing other have talked about monitoring places like McDonalds and other businesses. I don't understand what is interesting about such. The same question arises with school buses. What kind of things happen on school bus frequencies?
It's interesting because it's not intended for you to listen in on.
 

mikepdx

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I don't understand what is interesting about such.
The same question arises with school buses.
What kind of things happen on school bus frequencies?
I live in a rural area and...
I find them GREAT for up to the minute, very local road conditions in snow and ice.
Much conversation about which roads are plowed and sanded, which aren't,
Blocked roads. Accidents. Detours. Trees down.
Plenty of valuable info before venturing out.
 
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DaveNF2G

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Most of my search time is spent filling in gaps in my frequency lists. There are a lot of things I have no interest in monitoring beyond figuring out what they are.
 
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DaveNF2G

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For the sake of completeness, I should mention that there are some talkgroups on the Troy P25 trunked system assigned to particular schools. They are not transportation frequencies as Troy Enlarged apparently relies on at least a couple of commercial school bus companies.
 

n3obl

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One thing I'll mention if any are first student. You have to search their freq in FCC database under Ohio as they are all licensed to Cincy oh.
 

Ensnared

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Wow, I never realized this. I believe I will program me some bus frequencies and hear what is happening. Waco High has a bunch of thugs who start fights on a frequent basis. I suppose some of these children would feel more at home with straw on the floor since many act like animals. Sorry, but I don't tolerate brats too well. I was "forced" to see them at MHMR triage.

But, I would love to hear an incident where an assault was in progress. I am of the opinion that unruly children should be treated like those at a prison riot, using plastic restraints, hanging them on the wall.

Of course, I jest.
 

Ensnared

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Wichita Falls, Texas, I understand!

Sometimes there are interesting things like traffic accidents or "passengers" assaulting each other or assaulting the bus driver.
I actively avoid Wichita Falls, Texas. The police chief must take anti-psychotic medications to treat his clinical paranoia. Why would the Texas version of "Mayberry"need to be so heavily encrypted? I know there is a methamphetamine problem up there, but come on police chief, LOL.

When the Twin Peaks shooting tripped off here in Waco, very little if any encryption was utilized. Previously our police department walked me through the process of obtaining fleet maps through the release of information act. In fact, he sent me the letter indicating that they want the public to listen to what they encounter on a daily basis.

Let me know if you want to hear the incident because I have roughly 5 hours of great scanner records on three You Tube videos. I consider myself very lucky knowing the limited scanning present in WFTX.
 
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DaveNF2G

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One thing I'll mention if any are first student. You have to search their freq in FCC database under Ohio as they are all licensed to Cincy oh.
Very few of the unidentifieds around here have conventional channels licensed to them by name. Users of commercial radio systems are not required to have individual licenses, so whatever licenses any company has in their home state are probably irrelevant anywhere else, with the possible exception of itinerants.

First Student was a user of the NYCOMCO EDACS system in the lower Hudson Valley at one point. EDACS is pretty much going away. In the Capital area, the trunked school buses are mainly on LTR or DMR systems.
 

Darkstar350

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Here on long island First Student mainly uses their conventional channels which are indeed licensed by name to them
Laidlaw was the company that First Student basically took over so i suppose there may still be some licenses floating around with the Laidlaw name but i think what n3obl was getting at is the fact that FCC licenses are generally listed by the mail address/company HQ and not the actual transmit location so for example if you owned a company with the main office in Texas and you use that as your contact info for the FCC then your licenses would show up in a search for FCC licenses in Texas - regardless if there are transmitters in other states
ULS License - Industrial/Business Pool, Conventional License - WPUE401 - First Student Inc
 

MegaHertz315

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I have been puzzled when hearing other have talked about monitoring places like McDonalds and other businesses. I don't understand what is interesting about such. The same question arises with school buses. What kind of things happen on school bus frequencies?
I am puzzled when someone finds something that isn't interesting, and thinks that everyone else should feel the same way as they do.

Just because you don't monitor schools buses or businesses, doesn't make it a rule that it's not interesting.

Scanning is hobby. Part of the scanning hobby is discovering, finding, and researching frequencies, and making "databases." I compile frequencies, tones, and trunked system databases locally, and when I travel. Its fun, and its part of the hobby for some. Just because someone compiles a list of frequencies doesn't mean they sit there and listen to them all day, everyday. Its record keeping, and I often think of it as a puzzle.

Question: Have you ever monitored Fire or Law frequencies and heard a school bus crash be dispatched? Have you ever thought if you heard a bus accident that it might be interesting to tune into the bus frequency and actually hear from the source of whats going on? Its like a behind the scenes.

Maybe someone out there thinks listening to trains is stupid. But the day a train derailment is dispatched on Fire Dispatch, don't you think it is interesting to listen to the trains itself during a derailment? You are going to hear a lot more from the sources mouth than what you will hear on Fire channels. And it can make for some interesting monitoring.

I could go on and on about examples. These two are just to name a few.

End of rant.
 
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