Gurney Bus Routes
August 29, 2019
Dear Superintendent Robert Hunt and Mike Morgan,
We are writing to express our concerns for our children on the Gurney & Intermediate Bus Routes and their prolonged ride times. We have analyzed the Gurney bus routes from the published schedules and found that 47% of kids spend more than 60 minutes on the bus each day; in the morning 53% (more than 30 minutes) & 20% (more than 45 minutes), with 2 kids having more than a 60 minute bus ride in the morning; in the afternoon 31% (more than 30 minutes) & 28 kids (more than 45 minutes). 12 children spend more than 90 minutes on the bus each day. Intermediate bus routes have the same high percentage of long routes.
Over the last school year many parents have expressed concerns to the Gurney Transportation supervision and the Superintendent, with no solutions given and minimal changes to the bus routes. Some parents suggested a “first on first off” solution but were told that it was not possible. Some bus changes were made so that some children now have a slightly shorter bus ride home, but it appears that what ultimately happened was other students now have those long bus rides. Parents were never given any information on how or why the routes are the way they are or if the issue is a need for more buses. We were only told that the school district tries to get as many kids as they can to and from school as fast as they can, and the people who the district considers to live on the “fringes” suffer due to location. When in fact there are many children who live in the village and within 5 minutes of the school that have close to an hour bus ride. Having such long rides for young kids is difficult as there is no food or water allowed on the bus, no bathrooms, and long rides ultimately impact their learning at school and at home with homework. This makes for very long days for these children.
Parents who have signed this letter believe about a 30 min ride time maximum each way is reasonable for young children. Last year, Dr. Hunt told parents that he instructed the bus director to strive to keep ride times under 45 minutes per ride. Yet, 26.4% of our children have greater than a 45 minute bus ride, sometimes close to an hour and each way.
The below signed parents propose new routes that are more equitable for all who ride. Parents should not feel like they have to drop off and pick up their children because their bus rides are too long. Every child should be offered a reasonable ride, regardless of location. Our main goal is for major changes to be made for children with very long ride times and to have ride times spread more evenly throughout the district.