Busing

Explanation: Busing can play a significant role in meeting a district’s educational and equity objectives. At the same time, busing costs are among the largest expenses school districts incur.[68] This policy encourages District student transportation and administrative staff to carefully consider the long-term costs of busing service, and to encourage walking and bicycling as alternatives within the areas that could reasonably be walked or biked.

If the District is considering changes to busing service, the District should prioritize active transportation to improve student health and reduce busing costs, congestion, and air pollution. When bus service is reduced, schools frequently see a large, immediate increase in motor vehicle traffic. In this situation, Safe Routes to School programs can help to reduce the number of additional vehicles that approach the school each day. Additionally, schools can consider ”remote drop-off” for buses as well as Safe Routes to Bus Stops programs to improve safety and access for students walking or bicycling to remote bus stops. In the event of hazards that make active transportation unsafe, such as busy or wide street crossings, lack of sidewalks, fast-moving traffic, and other barriers, Safe Routes to School programs and projects may be able to address the hazard and enable active transportation.

Option 1: District acknowledges that busing may play a significant role in supporting student learning and meeting District’s educational and equity objectives. District also supports integrating active transportation into its existing busing policies. Accordingly, before approval of any increase, decrease, or other change in service in busing within the “walk boundary” of the school, District shall ensure that such changes are preceded by analyzing:  (i) the potential increase in automobile trips to and from school resulting from the change in service, and (ii) the costs of improving safety within the “walk boundary” through infrastructure improvements, education, and encouragement that would ultimately allow more students living within the “walk boundary” to engage in active transportation.

District (by partnering with an appropriate entity if necessary) shall further ensure that bus drivers receive training on how to drive safely on routes frequented by those engaged in active transportation.

Rating: 
3

Option 2: District acknowledges that busing may play a significant role in supporting student learning and meeting District’s educational and equity objectives. District also supports integrating active transportation into its existing busing policies. Accordingly, before approval of any increase, decrease, or other change in service in busing within the “walk boundary” of the school, District shall ensure that such changes are preceded by analyzing:  (i) the potential increase in automobile trips to and from school resulting from the change in service, and (ii) the costs of improving safety within the “walk boundary” through infrastructure improvements, education, and encouragement that would ultimately allow more students living within the “walk boundary” to engage in active transportation.

District (by partnering with an appropriate entity if necessary) shall further ensure that bus drivers receive training on how to drive safely on routes frequented by those engaged in active transportation.

For students who live within the “walk boundary” but are bused due to hazardous conditions such as limited sidewalks or high-volume roadways, District shall work with your jurisdiction to improve safety conditions to permit active transportation to and from school. District, in partnership with your jurisdiction, shall (a) identify all safety conditions requiring mitigation, and (b) prioritize when and how to mitigate such conditions based on the severity of the condition and financial feasibility of such mitigation. District shall work with your jurisdiction to ensure, insofar as possible, that such conditions are mitigated in order of priority.

Rating: 
3

Option 3: District acknowledges that busing may play a significant role in supporting student learning and meeting District’s educational and equity objectives. District also supports integrating active transportation into its existing busing policies. Accordingly, before approval of any increase, decrease, or other change in service in busing within the “walk boundary” of the school, District shall ensure that such changes are preceded by analyzing:  (i) the potential increase in automobile trips to and from school resulting from the change in service, and (ii) the costs of improving safety within the “walk boundary” through infrastructure improvements, education, and encouragement that would ultimately allow more students living within the “walk boundary” to engage in active transportation.

District (by partnering with an appropriate entity if necessary) shall further ensure that bus drivers receive training on how to drive safely on routes frequented by those engaged in active transportation.

For students who live within the “walk boundary” but are bused due to hazardous conditions such as limited sidewalks or high-volume roadways, District shall work with your jurisdiction to improve safety conditions to permit active transportation to and from school. District, in partnership with your jurisdiction, shall (a) identify all safety conditions requiring mitigation, and (b) prioritize when and how to mitigate such conditions based on the severity of the condition and financial feasibility of such mitigation. District shall work with your jurisdiction to ensure, insofar as possible, that such conditions are mitigated in order of priority.

District will integrate active transportation into bus and vehicle travel. Options may include voluntary or mandatory remote drop-offs for buses or private motor vehicles, as well as Safe Routes to Bus Stops programs.

 

Rating: 
3

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Each policy is eligible for a given number of stars, depending upon how much the policy contributes to creating a safe and encouraging atmosphere for children to walk and bicycle to school. Some policies are only eligible for one star, others for two stars, and others for three stars. For some policies, selecting a stronger option may provide additional stars.


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