At the Wednesday, September 4, school board meeting, Superintendent Laura Mitchell presented an update to board members regarding the district's yellow bus service for elementary students and Metro bus service for high school students.
On September 3, new assignments for 17,000 bus riders went into effect. The district’s rising enrollment was the main reason for the bus route changes; enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is 640 students more than projected. As a result, the district now transports a total of 40,000 students attending CPS, parochial and charter schools.
Superintendent Mitchell indicated that CPS and its transportation vendors have taken several steps to respond to the increased demands for bus service, including:
- Appointed a new Chief Strategy Officer effective Wednesday, Sept. 4; the Chief Strategy Officer was immediately assigned responsibility over district operations including transportation;
- Created a rapid response room staffed by bus routers who can immediately respond to requests for changes or other route needs;
- Appointed two internal communications liaisons: one individual has been assigned to work in the Superintendent’s Office to immediately escalate issues concerning safety or significant delays to the Superintendent and Board, and another to work directly with principals to communicate daily on delays and safety issues;
- Implemented an accountability process to monitor buses for pick-up and drop-off, to allow CPS officials to immediately identify buses that are on-time or late;
- Added additional Metro bus capacity and expanded existing route on West Side to alleviate bus crowding on some routes.
Until October 1, bus routes will continue to be evaluated on a weekly basis to monitor arrival and departure times, along with the number of students on each bus. Transportation officials will continue to make adjustments as necessary. After October 1, monitoring of bus routes will be conducted on a bi-weekly basis through April, Mitchell said.
Parents who have questions or concerns about transportation can call (513) 363-9700 during business hours.