On the way home: Transportation Department changes bus route system

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By Aishi Debroy, Staff Reporter

The TESD Transportation Department implemented a new system of organizing bus routes and stops during the district’s back-to-school meeting on Aug. 13. 

Due to the new start times, as well as the new opt-in program this year, the transportation system has changed. The new program requires parents to fill out a form that allows students to opt in or out of busing. If chosen to opt out, the students would be ineligible to ride them. The influx of last minute opt-in requests from parents caused the Transportation Department to adjust bus stops and routes. 

“Since all of the start and end times for each school changed this year, the bus routes needed to be reexamined in light of our system and coordination with all the non-public schools (in the area),” said Karen Henry, the Transportation Department supervisor.

Every year, the department evaluates the timing and efficiency of bus routes during the first two weeks of school. Upon receiving bus route arrival times from all the schools in the district, they calculate the most efficient route and make further decisions using the results. As a part of that process this year, they added a second bus contractor, On The Go Kids. 

“(Changes were made) to maximize the efficiency, because buses are expensive. It’s not cheap to run buses every day, so the district has to be responsible when they’re using their funds,” Principal Amy Meisinger said. 

Students have differing opinions on the changes. Senior Nate Stein found the new bus arrangements favorable.

“Overall, the new busing route has been beneficial for me. I now find myself getting home at the same time as last year, despite school being pushed 30 minutes later,” Stein said. 

On the other hand, sophomore Elise Bermingham said that her bus route this year includes new neighborhoods, resulting in increased travel time. According to Bermingham, it now takes her 25 minutes to get home compared to only 10 minutes last year.

Taking note of the community’s concerns, the Transportation Department is working to increase the efficiency of the All-Call system, which allows families to notify the department of any concerns that they have.