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Brunswick County cutting back on school bus stops

READ MORE: Brunswick County cutting back on school bus stops
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Fuel prices have slowly fallen during the past couple of weeks, but years of rising prices is impacting school bus schedules for many of our school districts. High fuel prices are forcing Brunswick County Schools to cut costs. One way to do it is reducing the number of bus stops. Brunswick County Executive Director of Operations, Stephen Miley, says it simply comes down to dollars and cents. Fewer bus stops means fewer routes. "We've just gone through and cleaned up our routes to make sure they are as efficient as they can be," said Miley. Miley says the school district now spends $4.25 cents a gallon on diesel, but the state budget will only pay for $3.23 a gallon, creating almost a dollar shortfall. With 161 buses burning around 1800 gallons of fuel a day, Miley says they had to re-evaluate the use of their buses while sticking to bus stop regulations. A bus stop has to be within a mile of the students address and bus stops can be no more than 2 tenths of a mile apart. Students who live within one mile of their school are not assigned a bus, unless there are traffic safety issues, and bus stops are not placed on dead end roads or private streets. "We are not going to the maximum. We could put stops a mile away from a student's home. We aren't looking at doing anything like that right now," said Miley. More than 6,000 students ride the bus in Brunswick County. Miley says he expects that number to go up this year with parents opting to not drive kids to school to save on gas. Brunswick County School officials don't know yet exactly how many bus stops will be removed. They plan on notifying parents about the changes through their website and by mail. New Hanover County schools are also cutting out stops to save on gas. Officials say it will mostly affect middle and high school students, and it simply means children will probably have to walk a little farther to get to their stop.

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Brunswick County School Buses Cut backs

As an outside observer with some 20 years experience in Bus Operations, The changes are to say the least choatic. These cost cutting excercises appear to be aimed not at improving efficiency, but in making people look good. Quite apart from the upheaval, early departures coupled with longer rides is not conducive with good educational practices. I am sure that students, some who catch buses before six a.m., now arrive at school tired and stressed from the changes. I wonder if the Transport planners have investigated the possibility of reconfiguring the vehicles to run on Bio-diesel or even waste oil products to cut costs. Most Diesels will run readily on differing grades of fuel which just requires adjustments to the fuel delivery sytem to the engine. The Bus operator I was employed By operated a fleet of 126 vehicles from the depot at which I was employed, on a 20 hour shift running a terminus to terminus scheduled service, on average each vehicle used approximately 85-95 gallons of fuel daily, and travelled 200-300 miles in service each day. Finally as a guarian of two of these students I am concerned that the changes have been implemented with little consultation leaving parents concerned whether thier child has missed the bus which now runs at an uncertain time, or wondering why thier child is so late in getting home.

Brunswick County Bus Schedule

We live on Holden Beach, and I have two middle schoolers and one college kid. My kids have always depended on riding the bus to and from school durning their k-12 school years until this year. My sons are supposed to catch the bus at 5:50 am. So far they have only managed to catch the bus twice this school year in the morning and ride home every day. They get home at 5:00 pm. That makes for a long long school day. It is practically impossible to drag them out of bed so early in the morning for them to walk down the road leaving the house at 5:45. It is unacceptable! I commute to Wilmington to work and was depending on the public school system to provide transportation for my children. Now, I drive my children to school and have to drop them off a block away so they can walk the rest of the way, I'm told I can't drop them off on school property before 7:30..."it's too early". This is unacceptable.

Education money

For all of you that voted on the lottery, are you happy now? Aren't you wondering where the money is going that was supposed to be for education? Maybe you need to start asking your representatives where the money is? I live in an area where the school bus stops every few feet to let someone off. It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. There are 7 houses within 100 yards of each other and the kids are let out at each drive way. It is time to let them walk a little. I also agree with the suggestion that maybe Brunswick County should go to a four day week to help conserve gas. It is a very sensible solution although it could cause a problem for working parents.

Taxes

Maybe taxes should be raised to fully support the school system with a reliable income source. Or maybe the fines and forfeitures that are presently going to buy helicopters and such should go to the school systems, as it is supposed to.

2 things here: 1. Fix the

2 things here: 1. Fix the stupid stoplights in Wilmington so "all" can conserve fuel. Stop/Go/Stop/Go/Stop/Go 2. Where is the NC Education Lottery $$$ going? Apparently not to help with fuel prices for school buses huh? The Star Ships really need to land soon!

This should have happened a

This should have happened a long time ago. I have waited many times for a kid to come out of his/her home while the bus waited for them wasting fuel. This used to happen daily on NC 87 in the Mill Creek area. If the child is not at the stop, they get left. If Mom had to get up and put on her clothes and drive her child to school, you can bet the kid would be at the stop the next school day. Stops should also be no less than 1/2 mile apart. This starting and stopping every 100 feet is ridiculous. It will do the kids good to walk a little. Probably the only exercise many of them get. Maybe parents whose kids ride the bus should help pay the shortfall in fuel costs instead of the taxpayers with no kids in school.

cut back in school but not government

I'd like to know if our governor (Mike Easley) is still spending our hard earned money touring Europe or saving the marinas in is home town of Southport?! I'm aware our government is in the same recession we are (and need to cut corners), but why do they always try to save $ by cutting back on public education? See ya Mike! We won't miss you.

why don't we try the 4 day

why don't we try the 4 day school days like some of the other schools in other states are doing.

LOL

You cannot make this stuff up people...first our Governor is a COMPLETE AND UTTER MORON...his wife gets a NICE fat pay increase....all the while our CHILDREN and education have to suffer...HEY at least our elected officials get the Cadillac plans of health care and benefits..right! I think it is HIGH TIME our elected officials get KNOCKED OFF OF THEIR HIGH HORSES and come back down with the rest of us...none of this retirement after 4 years, cream of the crop health care, etc....THEY MOST CERTAINLY DON'T DESERVE IT!

More coddling to raise obese children

Why, oh-why, must bus stops be no more than 2/10 of a mile apart? That's not only a sure-fire way to waste tremendous amounts of fuel, with all the stopping and starting, but it causes all the following drivers to waste fuel stopping and starting, or by flooring the accelerator when they see an opportunity to pass the school bus. It's not going to hurt our little darlings for them to walk a bit further. Place the bus stops a half mile apart. Save LOTS of fuel and make the little lard butts burn up a few calories by walking that horrible, torturous quarter-mile (worst case) to the bus stop twice a day.

School systems

Well that probley wouldn't be a problem if the CRIME rate for Brunswick county alone wasn't so high!! Why is all the high officals or Administrative people getting such big raises this year. That is discrimination against families that leave near the school or can't afford to get there children to school. Another thing that should be looked into is why my child has to recieve free or reduced lunch to recieve the free tutoring thats offered this year! What does my income have to do with my childs learning disabilities?

No one said that life is fair

For example, "free" lunches and "free" tutoring discriminate against me, as I have to pay higher taxes to pay for those supposed freebies. There is no reason why school bus stops cannot be spaced at one-half mile. It will not hurt the little darlings to walk a quarter mile to the bus stop. Most of them need the exercise.

i do not agree

i do not agree