Dear Parents / Guardians of FCSD Bus Riders,
Recently, there has been some discussion about our transportation services, policies, procedures, and state law as it relates to our transportation services. The purpose of this communication is to address some of the concerns that have been shared as well as make some clarifications about our practices and procedures. First and foremost, we want our parents to know that the safety of our students is always our most important priority. Our commitment to safety applies not only in our school buildings but certainly extends to our transportation services as well. As a district, we are very fortunate to have bus drivers that take the time to get to know their students personally and provide a safe and secure environment while transporting a large number of students.
It is very common for us to receive questions about combining bus routes. We only combine bus routes when it is absolutely necessary. As you may or may not know, there is a shortage of bus drivers and substitute bus drivers locally and nationally. Our Human Resources department has worked hard to recruit and retain quality employees to transport our students, but we continue to experience a shortage for these critical positions. As a result of these shortages, it has become necessary to combine bus routes. However, we do want you to know that this only takes place when the regular bus driver is not available and we are unable to secure a substitute bus driver. The practice of combining bus routes has been and will continue to be a last resort. Unfortunately, due to the continued expected shortage of drivers, this practice will continue to be utilized when necessary.
When routes are combined, we often receive numerous questions such as: What is the capacity of our buses? What is the legal limit of students that may be transported on our buses? How many students are legally permitted to sit in a seat? Are students asked to stand or sit on the floor on our buses? Our buses have the capacity to legally hold up to seventy-two passengers, which may result in three students riding in a seat. At no time is any student asked or permitted to be seated on the floor or stand. If a student believes that a seat is not available, he or she should notify the bus driver immediately. If the driver discovers that there are not enough adequate seats for every student on the bus, we want to assure our students and our parents that we will make other arrangements for students to be transported. It is not acceptable for any student to stand or sit on the floor. As a result of these most recent concerns, we have asked our drivers to have a heightened sense of awareness in regard to students attempting to sit on the floor or stand.
In conclusion, we want to reinforce our commitment to providing a safe and secure environment for our students, regardless if they are in one of our buildings or on one of our buses. We hope that the information in this statement is helpful for our families. We want our parents / guardians to be confident that the safety of their children is our most important priority. If you should ever have a question or concern about the safety of your child on one of our buses, please contact our transportation department at 513-829-6603.
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