Buses to cancel stops closer to middle schools

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Parents of students living within two miles of Carson Middle School and Carson High School will be receiving notices within the next two weeks that buses will no longer carry their children to and from school.

"We've provided transportation in the past because there hasn't been a safe route," said Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the school district. "The city has made a lot of improvements and it's safe now. It's really about providing equity to all kids."

A similar plan was proposed last year to eliminate stops near Empire Elementary School for students riding the bus to Eagle Valley Middle School.

However, parents expressed concern about students having to traverse trails, sometimes surrounded by overgrown brush. District officials agreed and scrapped the idea.

But 11 other bus stops will be eliminated when school starts in the fall, affecting about 150 Carson middle and high school students.

Mitchell explained the plan to school board members during the Tuesday meeting and parents will be notified through the mail.

Mitchell said the Carson City School District buses about 40 percent of its students to and from school each day. He said most school districts in Nevada bus about 20 percent of their students.

Although school buses are built to accommodate three students per seat -- allowing for 77 students per bus -- federal guidelines recommend only 50 secondary students ride the same bus.

"When we have 70 kids on the bus, that's three people per seat," Mitchell explained. "That's very crowded when you're talking about kids middle-school aged."

He said eliminating the stops will create more room on the buses for bad-weather days when students don't want to walk and parents don't want to drive.

Parent-teacher associations will also be working with elementary schools to form "walking buses" where volunteers will escort students who live within a mile to and from school. The walking bus is intended to reduce traffic congestion at the school and make the commute safer for students who already walk.


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