Lafayette school bus routes, stops to be reduced

Photo Credit: MGN

LAFAYETTE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) – Lafayette Parish students and parents may see some changes to their bus stops, starting in August.

The school system plans to eliminate 23 routes this summer as a cost-cutting measure. The school board voted last week to cut $1.75 million from the transportation budget, which was at around $15.5 million before the reduction.

Joe Craig, the district’s chief administrative officer, said there still will be bus transportation for students who attend Schools of Choice academies. However, there will probably be fewer stops.

“We’ll be reducing the number of stops available to out-of-zone kids, and that means we will pull in the stops to make them more centralized and have less stops,” Craig said. “The students will still get transportation to those academies.”

One option is to place two stops in each direction from a school. But if more students who attend an academy live in a certain area, there may be more stops in that area, and fewer elsewhere.

Craig said the district’s transportation staff has been working with a new software program to establish routes based on student populations.

“The software clusters the kids and places stops in relation to the greatest populations of kids,” Craig said. “That is where we will place the stops. But instead of allowing for extra stops, we are going to limit the number that will be available.”

There could also be fewer routes for non-academy students, based largely on new attendance zones that have students attending schools closer to their homes.

Board members noted at the May 23 budget meeting that they want to have further discussions about reducing transportation costs. Board member Erick Knezek said he would like district staff to bring up more cost-saving recommendations later this year.

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