Red Deer Public trying staggered start, finish times

In order to tackle a $1.2-million deficit, the Red Deer Public School District will stagger school start and finish times so it can use buses more efficiently.

In order to tackle a $1.2-million deficit, the Red Deer Public School District will stagger school start and finish times so it can use buses more efficiently.

Trustees approved a plan Wednesday to adopt double routing for school bus schedules by fall 2013.

This means that multiple buses will no longer take students to school simultaneously. Instead, school start and finish times will be staggered to allow one bus to drop off and pick up students from one school, and then head to a second.

The new scheduling is part of a strategy to reduce the deficit faced by the public district.

“We’re currently facing a transportation deficit in the neighbourhood of $250,000 annually,” Piet Langstraat, superintendent of schools, said Thursday.

“We believe we’ll be able to have substantial savings in busing costs,” he said.

Bruce Buruma, director of community relations, said that each bus will be running slightly longer to get two groups of students to school. However, Buruma said the additional cost of running one bus for longer is less than running two buses at the same time.

He also said there is provincial grant funding for some students who take the bus to school. The per bus funding would increase as a result of taking two full loads of students.

This means the new strategy would benefit both from reduced operating costs and increased revenues.

These changes will apply specifically to yellow school buses. Schools in Red Deer served by city buses will not be affected.

At this point, the specifics of the plan are not clear. Lawrence Lee, board chairman, said that the board approved the strategy in principle, so that work on planning can start.

It is not yet known which schools or routes might be affected, or how many students would face modified school and bus times.

The board predicted that there will be an adjustment period as students and parents get used to the new system.

However, Lee said the scheduling changes will be as minimally disruptive as possible.

Trustees also asked administration to consider regular one-way busing for kindergarten students. Currently, kindergarten students are taken only if there is leftover space on a bus.

tdawson@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Is the fate of Red Deer’s Parsons House solely in the hands of the province?

Demolition of old police station next door to begin this fall

Fundraiser to help keep kids warm in Blackfalds

Community Warmth Fall Fundraiser

Piper Creek Foundation gets a new name

Red Deer subsidized housing program for seniors

Reveen returns to Red Deer

Presented by Friends of Red Deer Regional Hospital

2019 Winter Games will transform Red Deer: Olympic organizer

Team leader behind 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics provides inspirational pep talk

WATCH: Red Deer students take part in annual run

Dawe/St. Pat’s Run reaches 40th anniversary

Smile Cookie fundraiser campaign for Reading College kicks off

Fundraising campaign runs Sept. 12-18 for program that helps children improve their reading

‘Nightmare that won’t end’: Storm evacuees can’t return yet

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Hundreds of people waited in long lines for water… Continue reading

New bridge collapses into river in rural Saskatchewan hours after opening

HYAS, Sask. — A rural politician in eastern Saskatchewan says he’s at… Continue reading

Halifax researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada for first time

HALIFAX — For the first time in Atlantic Canadian waters, scientists have… Continue reading

Liberal riding association president blindsided by MP’s defection

OTTAWA — The president of an Ontario Liberal riding association says he… Continue reading

Pope gives bishops more decision-making options

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis decreed on Tuesday that ordinary Catholics should… Continue reading

Hurricane rating system fails to account for deadly rain

TRENTON, N.C. — When meteorologists downgraded Hurricane Florence from a powerful Category… Continue reading

Glad company: Trailer for Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

LOS ANGELES — A beloved nanny is preparing to take to the… Continue reading

Most Read