OPS Considers Bus Transportation Changes

The Omaha Public School District considers alterations to bus routes because of staffing shortages with their contractor.

The Superintendent sent the proposed changes to parents in a message:

After listening to parents, reviewing data and exploring transportation options, the school district staff recommends updates for the 2023-24 school year:

• Adjusting the home to school distance to be eligible for transportation:

o Elementary: from one mile to 1.5 miles

o Middle: from 1.5 miles to two miles

• Expanding the home to bus stop distance by two blocks at each grade level:

o Elementary: from two to four blocks

o Middle: from four to six blocks

o High: from six to eight blocks

• Maximizing efficiency through the number of students scheduled per bus.

The district says the home to school distances recommended for transportation eligibility are the same distances used prior to 2015.

These recommended updates come after work through the Summer and Fall to address transportation needs.

This past Summer, OPS staff reduced the number of routes to ensure vendor staffing was adequate.

This Fall, OPS increased payments to their transportation contractor to raise driver salaries.

The district says staffing remained an obstacle to reliable trips to and from school.

If adopted, these updates would impact some students’ eligibility for transportation in the 2023- 24 school year.

Pending Board of Education approval, and after the school selection process is completed, district staff will know which students are eligible for transportation by mid-March.

They will communicate with impacted families by USPS mail, email, and individual phone calls to families.

Following family information meetings this week, the recommended updates go to the Board of Education on Dec. 12th, 2022.

(Picture from Getty Images)

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