Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will save about $3 million by cutting bus routes, officials said Wednesday.
About 100 fewer buses will be on Qcity streets and roads this school year, and the district’s 1,155-bus fleet will drive about 11,000 fewer miles each day.
For parents, that means 2,900 students who used to ride buses will have to find other transportation. CMS expects to have about 134,400 students this year, with 111,000 of them assigned to buses.
Rather than sending buses along individual streets, CMS created “common stops” in almost 200 neighborhoods, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Transportation director Carol Stamper told reporters Wednesday that the maximum house-to-stop walk will be 0.2 miles for elementary students and 0.4 for middle and high school students.
CMS audited its bus routes and eliminated 2,500 students who had been riding buses to schools outside their neighborhood zone. Those parents must now provide their own transportation or send their students to neighborhood schools.
The need to slash transportation costs is directly linked to other CMS budget cuts, officials have said.
In other school news:
Mecklenburg health officials are predicting a new wave of swine flu cases this fall and winter, and schools are especially susceptible.
CMS is urging parents to keep children home if they are ill. Students and employees who get sick once school begins will be separated from others and sent home quickly, the Observer reported.