7125 School Bus Routing and Bus Stops 7125
- The Wake County Board of Education endorses the routing strategy which is prescribed in General Statutes and charges the Superintendent to designate Transportation Department staff to implement this strategy
- The Board of Education approves the schedule for school opening and closing times by April 1, as prescribed by Board Policy No. 5032
- Routing strategies:
- The Transportation Department staff is responsible for centralized bus routing.
- Buses must follow the routes as designated, unless the Transportation Operations Manager approves a change.
- Bus routes must follow state-maintained highways, municipal streets or other streets with publicly dedicated right-of-way, unless road conditions or other factors make this inadvisable.
- School bus stops will be located on divided highways only if the stop is a door-side stop or if the bus stop is at a point where pedestrian and vehicular traffic are controlled by traffic signals.
- Buses shall be routed to receive and discharge pupils living more than one and one-half (1.5) miles from the school assigned at established stops. (Refer to Policy 7105 - Use of School Transportation Services.)
- The Board of Education endorses keeping student ride time to a minimum. Ride time goals are listed in R&P 7125.
- Number of students on buses:
- Student capacity limits are displayed inside each bus. Refer to R&P 7125 for a summary of school bus capacities.
- Band instruments, projects, and other objects cannot take up pupil seating space or block the aisle.
Establishment of bus routes and bus stops:
- Bus stops are placed no closer than two-tenths (.2) of a mile apart, unless the transportation department deems a safety hazard exists.
- In the interests of safety and efficiency, buses will in general be routed on main thoroughfares, and buses will not be routed off of those thoroughfares for distances less than one-half (.5) mile, except for groups of ten or more students or for students with disabilities.
- Buses are generally prohibited from traveling into cul-de-sacs.
- To the extent possible, bus stops are placed on corners and centralized for students assigned to the stop.
- General Statute requires that a bus will pass within one mile of eligible students' residences; however, the Board establishes reduced maximum walking distances to bus stops for students as follows:
- Elementary students -- three-tenths of a mile
- Middle School students -- five-tenths of a mile
- High School students -- five-tenths of a mile
- Distances to express bus stops may exceed these maximums.
The presence of factors that may endanger the safety of students will be considered when the location of stops is designated. (Refer to R&P 7125.)
Process for requesting changes to bus stop locations:
- Parents/guardians who are seeking a change to the location of the bus stop may request a change by completing a Transportation Service Request Form. (Refer to R&P 7125.)
- If the request is denied, the parent may seek a review of the decision in accordance with Policy 6520, Student Grievances.
- Assignment to buses:
- Students may ride only the bus to which they are assigned.
- In order to assure safety of and accountability for students, they will be dropped-off in the afternoon at the same stop where they were picked-up in the morning. Exceptions are addressed in the section "Service to or from Before and After School Care Providers".
Service to or from Before and After School Care Providers may be provided when specific criteria are met. The Superintendent will identify the criteria in R&P 7125.
- Express buses:
- The purpose of express bus stops and express bus routes is to reduce the ride time on longer routes by consolidating stops into as few stops as possible. Adding "local" stops to these routes has the effect of increasing ride time.
- Express bus stops are designed for students to be dropped off and picked up by parents at designated "express" bus stops.
- Each morning, parents are expected to accompany students to the bus stop approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled pickup time and wait with the students until students are safely on the bus.
- In the afternoon, parents are expected to be at the bus stop 10 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time, awaiting afternoon bus arrival, and to remain at the bus stop until all students have exited the bus.
- Express bus stops are centrally located based on safety and efficiency; Express stops are established by Transportation Department staff.
Legal References: G.S. 115C-241, 242, 244, 246
Adopted: June 16, 2009
Revised: June 5, 2012