For many, school transportation is an invisible service. But it’s one of the most important to students and parents alike. That’s why, year after year, STN magazine features its Top Transportation Directors, Bus Drivers of the Year and other notable transportation professionals. This year, two articles focusing on bus safety and a feature on electric buses were among our most popular.
Fort Wayne Community Schools is preparing for a new school year and some changes to its transportation services. FWCS says it has to cut $2.5 million from its transportation budget due to property tax caps. As a result, students living in "no transportation zones" won't get bus transportation to and from school or on field trips and athletic events. Students in magnet schools and high school Programs of Study, however, will still be bussed to and from school.
A new policy aimed at bolstering student safety took effect this week. The district will begin using 29 buses equipped with cameras that can capture the license plate of drivers who ignore stop arms. The buses are being placed in problem areas where the district has seen frequent violations. Jackson said the district has heard lots of feedback after a Rochester, Indiana, accident last year in which three children were killed when a driver passed a stopped school bus.
A new system allowing parents to see where their child's bus is should be in place by the end of the school year. The system will also include a way for parents to receive automated notifications about late buses. Currently, transportation staff send out manual notices and will make phone calls to parents if there are problems with buses.