by James C. Sherlock
Updated Aug 23 at 5.50 PM
FCPS has published its first morning FCPS Bus Delay list of buses delayed more than 15 minutes.
- This is the first day of school, but certainly there were several trial run days this summer in an attempt to provide sufficient time in the schedules to avoid lateness. Every school district does that.
- A lot of these schedules required multiple runs by individual drivers, so the delays would have cascaded and been longer the later in the morning the child was scheduled to be picked up and delivered to school.
- FCPS publishes transportation contact names and phone numbers for each school and center, so I expect they had a very busy morning.
- The list does not indicate how long the bus ride was scheduled to take before the delays. Nor how many routes each driver was scheduled to drive.
Roughly a third of FCPS schools and centers were affected. Some schools took the brunt of it.
The school system is not playing favorites. Langley High is a case in point. Langley serves one of the wealthiest public school populations in America. You would have no trouble telling the student parking lot from the teachers’ lot. But those are just the seniors.
I am not sure how this compares to a normal day in 2019. I will publish this afternoon’s list, and then revisit it next week to see how much it settles down. Afternoon bus runs, because the schools have control of boardings, are typically less tardy than mornings.
In an interesting note, the FCPS web site discourages car transportation:
“We provide transportation to students who live in the designated attendance area of a particular school, usually beyond the approved walking distance of one mile for elementary and 1.5 miles for secondary students. Transportation is required for certain students with special needs, as defined by federal law.”
“Safe Routes to School programs get kids physically active and take cars off the road. In the last 40 years, we have seen student walking and bicycling to school decline from 48% (1969) to 13% (2009). During this same time period, the percentage of parents using Kiss and Ride has increased. The increase in Kiss and Ride users has complicated traffic conditions around many schools and has made it more difficult for student walkers and bicyclists to get to school.”
So, perhaps my car pooling app recommendation is not welcome at FCPS. That will certainly vary by school district.
We’ll see how all of this works out in Fairfax County with the bus driver shortage. They have a lot of managers.
The afternoon routes as expected did better. Still big issues at Langley H.S.