Saturday, September 29, 2007
Steamboat Springs School bus service to Strawberry Park Road will return next week - at least part-time - after requests from parents moved Steamboat Springs School District officials to reinstate the route that was cut two years ago.
"A few years ago, we had a bus route out to Strawberry Park, and ridership was about three or four kids on average," Dale Mellor, the district's director of finance, told the Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday. "Now there are about 13 families out there that I believe have kids who want to ride the bus, and we are struggling to find a way to make this work."
Ed Dingledine, the district's director of transportation, said the district would use a half-size school bus for the Strawberry Park route.
"We have a teacher that is interested in driving the small bus, which requires very little training," he said. "I've done quick little assessment, and it will take roughly $15,000 for the small bus, which includes the driver's salary, fuel costs and other costs to get it on the road."
Dingledine cautioned that the available small bus is used for field trips, and may not always be available for daily bus service.
Parents at Monday's School Board meeting said they are willing to work with the school district and drive their children to school on days with field trips.
Mellor said Friday that funding for the reinstated route has been set aside in the school district's budget, which will be finalized Oct. 8. Dingledine said he hopes to have the route running by Wednesday.
"I've got the roster of students who are going to ride, and I need to move ahead and build the route," Dingledine said. He said about five stops would be made along the road, which is about five miles long.
"I have to identify the addresses, mark the stops and drive the route to see how long it takes," he said. "I'll then get together with the driver to go over the route. This will not take very long, and we have our tentatively scheduled start date. I'll call the parents when we know for sure."