Initial Email:

Hello Transit Experts,

Are you all ready for the Holidays? We have a question out of Bent County Transit from Michelle Samaniego, one that I am sure has been considered at your agencies before. She is hoping to hear from those of you that may have information regarding how many hours a driver can drive per day.
She writes: “How many hours can a driver drive per day? Does this include the whole shift or just “behind the wheel” hours. I’ve spoke to a couple others and they aren’t completely certain, so I just thought I’d reach out to the experts.”
If you would like to share your policy or your advice with Michelle, you can email her directly at [email protected] . Also, in our effort to provide a robust Transit Policy Library, I ask that if you are willing to share your policy/advice with Michelle to please copy [email protected] on your email so I may add it to the Library.


Brian Wells from Estes Transit: 

Straight from FMCSA
Geoff Guthrie from Summit County Colorado:

Here’s some light reading that explains FMCSA regs…enjoy!  Read the brochure as it’s quick and easy.  The final rule is also attached, but it’s 56 pages from the Federal Register and hard to locate info within.


Fred Williamson from Town of Breckenridge:

I think that you will find that  agencies interpret somewhat different.

  • Some agencies do time behind the wheel.
    • Many of them have the drivers clock out for unpaid breaks, so that is really drive time
  • Breckenridge Free Ride has our drivers clock in and then clock out at the end of the their shift.
    • They are on the clock their entire shift.
    • We treat their entire clock in time as drive time.
    • It is just easier for us to manage
    • Our max drive time is 10 hours.
    • Actual work time can go to 15 hours
      • We do limit to 12 hours because of Colorado state laws for OT at 12.
    • On occasion we will split a shift, but we still treat clock in as drive time

Hopes this helps.

Any questions please reach out.


Sherry Ellebracht from RTD:

We follow Federal and State Motor carrier rules some highlights along with a link are listed below.

  • Rule: A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period, however, driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. Maximum duty time with administration and drive is 12-hours. RTD Policy: 10-hours driving (behind the wheel); 11.5-hours maximum of on duty time (includes drive and report times); and 9- hours off between shifts/reports for rest time. This way we ensure we/and our operators stay in compliance.
  • Rule: Summary of Hours of Service Regulations. The HOS regulations for property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers. … Operators may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. RTD Policy: We stay under the maximum amount of total driving hours a day 11-hours in 14-hour period (we max a 10-hours) – and measure the DOT week on 7-day cycle, but we also track 8thday information. We ensure our operators are at no more than 55-58-hours in 7-day period or 65 hours in 8-day period. Again, allowing a cushion to ensure we stay under requirements.

The best source of information for applicable rules and how to apply them follows.

Summary of Hours of Service Regulations | Federal Motor Carrier  –