August 10 2020

BPS Busing and Transportation Plan

By: Tad Stephanak

As part of the Burlington School District’s reopening efforts Superintendent of Schools Dr. Eric Conti has been holding Reopening Feedback Sessions live on BCAT’s Government Facebook Page. 


On Thursday August 6th Conti along with Director of Operations Robert Cunha discussed Density and Distance in the schools. An area of importance and concern in the coming weeks is transportation and busing.


The state has provided schools with guidance on transportation and the district is currently working with the bus company to best interpret the guidelines. 


Conti said they are looking for a plan that will benefit Burlington parents and students. One of the challenges of the plan is working out staggered pick up and drop-off of students based on parents driving their children to school and those in need of busing. 


Changes in drop off and pick up will be based on the individual schools and account for higher car traffic. Cunha is meeting with principals and working with BPD Safety Officer Dom Grossi on safe walking routes and the possible rerouting of cars and buses to their arrival point at the schools. There is also discussion on mitigating heavy traffic and providing safe entrance into the schools for staff and students.


Cunha also went over social distancing on buses noting the district's typical school bus can hold 77 passengers in 25 seats. Burlington also runs 71 passenger buses with 21 seats. As seen in the graphic below buses will have one student per seat with students seated in an inside/outside pattern to ensure proper social distancing. Conti noted the depleted capacity of the busing plan.


“We are not going to be able to maintain the level of transportation service that we were providing prior to the pandemic,” he said.   


Conti went on to say that state regulations call for districts to provide transportation for students outside of a two mile radius of the school. Currently Burlington Schools don’t set a two mile radius for student busing. 


The district is examining feedback from the Parent Survey on if people absolutely need transportation, if they can get by without busing transportation or if they don't want to use the buses at all. 


Both Conti and Cunha reiterated that nothing about transportation plan is finalized and the busing situation continues to be studied with further meetings and discussion.



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