Thousands of Charlotte-Mecklenburg families will soon be getting letters in the mail telling them about new, and potentially controversial, school bus stops for their children.
CMS buses have tried to pick up students as close to their homes as possible. But with gasoline expenses high and bus routes growing more complicated, school officials hope to save time and money by consolidating last school year's roughly 40,000 bus stops into about 37,000. For elementary school students, that means bus stops have been moved up to .2 of a mile; for middle and high school students, stops have moved no more than .4 of a mile – the equivalent of seven football fields.
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Superintendent Peter Gorman said Tuesday that letters announcing the bus stop information had been sent to schools, and schools should be getting the letters on to families by late this week or early next week.
As of early August, 111,410 CMS students had been given bus assignments for the coming year. The school system spent $62 million on transportation costs last year, and used about 3.6 million gallons of gas. Bray said CMS officials likely won't know until late September how much money the consolidated stops will save.
If families have questions or concerns about their stops, she said, they should contact their children's schools.