For the past couple of years I've grown accustomed to hearing the school bus stop in front of the house and pick up the kid across the street around 6:55 in the morning for his ride to school. I think that is a little too early for an elementary school kid to catch a bus, but that's the system, until now.  Tyle rISD has announced new bus schedules, which will save money and time while riding the bus.

The new system goes into effect the first day of school (Monday, Aug. 27).  Instead of some students spending up to an hour and a half on the bus each day, the most they should spend on the bus now is 45 minutes, and with the addition of shorter routes, it will also be saving the district around $100,000.  The savings will come in the form of labor, bus drivers and monitors and, of course, fuel.

The plan introduces neighborhood bus stops instead of stopping at each student's house.  This is the system that I was accustomed to growing up.  The bus I rode to school didn't stop at my house; I had to walk to the bus stop along with the other kids in the neighborhood and wait for it to arrive, sometimes in the rain,  although we'd stand on the front porch of the house on the corner!

These neighborhood stops have been established already and require students to walk at least 300 feet up to a quarter mile for elementary kids and half a mile for middle and high schoolers.  However, for kindergarten and first graders, TISD requires someone 18 or older to accompany the student to the bus stop and be there in the afternoon when the bus arrives.

Tyler ISD Transportation Director John Bagert says, “We feel this new system will better serve our students by reducing the time they spend on the bus each day. Student safety has been, and will continue to be, our top priority in using the new bus route system.”

If your child is signed up to ride the bus, a letter has been mailed to you, but if were thinking about having your child ride the bus and you're curious as to where your neighborhood bus stop is, you can look that up with a handy tool on the TISD website.

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