Pinedale schools to add shuttle bus for elementary students
September 22, 2010
Sublette County School District #1 held a press conference on Tuesday, September 21 to provide information about their plans to purchase a new bus to provide shuttle services for children between the new elementary school and the Middle/High School and Pinedale Aquatic Center area.
The old elementary school was located as part of the school district complex, within easy distance for young children to walk to the Middle School and Aquatic Center.
The new elementary school, located on the west end of town across Pine Creek, is considered to be too far out for younger children to safely walk to town for after-school activities. The new school is two miles from the old elementary school. Also, the School Board has deemed Pine Creek and US 191 to be safety hazards.
After receiving complaints and concerns from in-town parents who now have to provide their own transportation of their children to and from the new school, school administration officials responded by requesting another bus to add to their fleet. Out-of-town students already receive bus services.
The School District must receive State approval for the purchase of any new busses. They have requested a large, rear engine bus that seats from 75 to 78 passengers.
"We’ve listened and we want to respond as soon as we can to alleviate the concerns," said Transportation Director Doug Northrup.
Northrup said it may be December or January before they get the new bus because of build schedules and timing of delivery for the bus manufacturer. In the meantime, parents will need to continue to make their own arrangements to meet their own individual family needs for their children’s schedules.
Once the bus arrives, the shuttle will be available to any Pinedale student in town who has their parent’s permission to ride it. The bus will make a morning trip from town with pickup at the Wrangler Gym, then taking students to the new elementary school. In the afternoon, the bus will bring students from the new school back the two miles into town dropping them off at the Wrangler Gym.
One of the school’s challenges will be finding a system to keep track of the students riding the bus on any given day because schedules will vary from trip to trip on who is riding. School officials expect this new system may result in having to amend some of the other existing bus routes slightly.
The new bus will cost around $130,000, which should be reimbursed by the State. In addition, the school district will have to hire an additional bus driver for this new bus. Bus Driver salaries starts at $19.95/hr, with pay depending on experience. Wage would be for a couple hours per day at 176 days per year, amounting to approximately $7,000/year, plus benefits to cover a driver for this new bus.
Below is the press release from Doug Northrup, Transportation Director for Sublette County School District #1
September 21, 2010
Sublette County School District #1 Transportation Director Doug Northrup recently received permission from the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) to add another bus to his current fleet. The district submitted a request to the WDE to address the need for students to be transported between the Pinedale Elementary School campus and the Middle School/High School campus. It is our goal to reestablish the opportunities for after school activities that were available to elementary students when the school was located on the MS/HS campus.
The route is currently planned to run between PES and the MS/HS campus both before and after school. Any student who wishes to ride the shuttle route may do so with parent permission. Additionally, some consolidation of in-town bus stops North of Pine Street will take place to shorten routes and improve efficiently.
The District is working to procure a bus as quickly as possible and will start the route when a bus becomes available, however bus manufacturers are between production cycles and the district is being told that delivery may not occur until late December. As the route times and stop locations become finalized, the District will provide additional information. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Transportation Department at 367-2130.