ACPS to reroute buses to accommodate more students
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- As students begin their second week of school, Albemarle County Public Schools is seeing a drop in students using the overpopulated bus services, while many still sit on the waitlist.
ACPS has been working to implement transportation systems that allow for a record number of transportation requests this year.
“We started the year, actually in August, the new school year with about 1,000 students we were not able to provide bus transportation for, because they did not have a full-time driver assigned to their bus route. Within about a week or so, we were able to reduce that number by more than 300 students,” ACPS Spokesperson Phil Giaramita said.
In the initial survey sent to parents earlier this summer, 10,000 students requested bus transportation. However, Giaramita says typically no more than 7,000 consistently use the bus service.
This year, ACPS is also enforcing the policy that if a student does not show up to the bus route for 10 consecutive days, they will be removed from the route’s attendance list.
“So that policy has been in existence for some time, but it hasn't always been strictly enforced because we haven't seen the kind of conditions we are seeing now,” Giaramita said.
ACPS plans to continue to monitor the attendance of bus riders and school enrollment and will be looking to adjust the bus routes within the first couple of weeks of September.
“We are going to be able to go back and redo those routes because the routes we opened the year with were planned for 10,000 and if we only have 6,000 or 7,000, we can make some changes,” Giaramita said.
Along with rerouting buses, ACPS is also in the process of training eight new bus drivers who are expected to complete their training and obtain their commercial driver's licenses in the next couple of weeks.
Giaramita says the schools have to report updated enrollment numbers to the state on Sept. 10 and anticipates starting the rerouting process around then.