School officials plan walking bus, cancel other routes | NevadaAppeal.com

School officials plan walking bus, cancel other routes

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

Carson City school officials have a new bus in mind for next year — one that walks.

“We’re hoping it will help solve some of the problems of congestion we have around the schools,” said Mike Mitchell, director of operations. “We also want to alleviate overcrowding for kids who really do have to ride the bus.”

The walking bus would involve children and their parents living within one mile of the elementary school they attend.

A parent volunteer living the farthest from the school would start out, picking up children along the way. At a certain point, that parent would hand the group over to another parent and the process would continue until the parent closest to the school led about 30 children on the final leg to drop them off.

“We feel the primary reason kids don’t walk to school is parents don’t feel it’s safe,” Mitchell said. “Even one mile is far for these little kids to walk alone, but if a parent goes along with them, it’s not bad.”

Mitchell will present the idea to school board members at Tuesday’s meeting and from there will begin trying to recruit parents to volunteer.

“We know not every parent is suited for this because they have to work early and stuff,” Mitchell said. “But if they have time, this will really work out well.”

Mitchell said many schools struggle with traffic congestion before and after school with parents driving their children. Buses are also often crowded because parents will have their children walk away from a school to a nearer bus stop.

Mitchell also has plans to alleviate crowding on middle-school buses: stops within two miles of the schools will be eliminated.

Officials first presented the idea last year, but parents opposed it and it was delayed.

Mitchell said it will effect about 150 students total from both Eagle Valley and Carson middle schools.

“We have the names of all the kids who will be affected by this,” he said. “We will send information home to each parent to let them know what we’re doing so it’s not a surprise.”

IF YOU GO

What: Carson City School Board meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Carson City Community Center, Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.