Goal 1:

Increase efficiency of bus routes.

District 103’s Strategic Plan, Vision 2020, outlines this need using the specific actions below:

  • Develop practices and guidelines of service levels.
  • Implement guidelines based on best practices for routing.

The District reviewed its transportation procedures and service levels to increase the efficiency of our bus routes. In September 2015, District 103 invited parents to participate on a volunteer committee to represent various grade levels and areas of the district in order to develop new practices and guidelines for bus routes that would be approved for implementation.

The Transportation Committee formed in September 2015, and met from September through November 2015. Tasks of the Transportation Committee were to:

  1. Review the background information
  2. Create proposed guidelines
  3. Post proposed guidelines for community feedback
  4. Finalize the guidelines for submittal to the Board of Education

The following values focused the work of the committee:

  • We want effective guidelines.
  • We want consistency, fairness and transparency.
  • We want increased efficiencies.
  • Overall, we want shorter bus rides.

An overview of the committee work follows:

  • During October 2015, the Transportation Committee began to review existing procedures, research best practice, develop initial guidelines, and gather information on transportation services for comparable districts.
  • The committee then agreed on a draft set of guidelines; and in November 2015, those were provided to the District 103 community for review and input.
  • The Transportation Committee updated the draft guidelines to incorporate community feedback, and finalized the guidelines/procedures during November 2015.
  • The Board of Education began discussing in December 2015, the guidelines and procedures submitted by the committee, and approved the final version on February 16, 2016.

Following are some general points to provide context to the new guidelines, which will be implemented beginning in September 2016:

  • The safest way for students to travel to school is by school bus. Efforts were made to not discourage people from riding the bus.
  • The district is not required to transport its students.
  • Compared with peer districts, these guidelines are generous.
  • The numbers provided in the guidelines are generally maximum times or distances. The average would be far less. The maximums account for a few outliers in the system (e.g. a house at the end of a longer cul-de-sac).
  • Kindergarten will still generally be house stops, with the additional consideration that a combined stop could be considered if a few houses with Kindergarten stops could be reasonably combined (e.g., if three Kindergarten houses are in a row and in close proximity to one another, perhaps the pickup could be at the middle house for the 3 houses). This is what is meant by “determined by enrollment and geography.”

Next steps include:

  • Develop new routes based on the new guidelines (March-August 2016)
  • Implement new routing process based on guidelines and best practice (September 2016)