Rising fuel costs are forcing Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools to make changes in bus service for the upcoming school year.
As noted in today's Charlotte Observer, the school district plans to make elementary students walk about two-tenths of a mile, while stops for middle- and high-school runs will be about four-tenths of a mile from homes. It had been less than one-tenth of a mile this past school year.
To put it in perspective, Wake elementary students now walk three-tenths of a mile to the bus stop. It's a half-mile for middle school and high school students.
Charlotte-Meck will also experiment with more “common stops” for new subdivisions, making all students come to a clubhouse or other safe stop for large numbers of students. It's something Wake bus readers know about.
Charlotte is also mimicking Wake with another change. Students who move out of their base school's attendance area after the first day of classes will no longer get transportation if they choose to remain there.
Wake currently doesn't provide bus service to those students who move during the school year and choose not to go to their new school. They're considered transfer students.
Charlotte plans to have 3,800 fewer bus stops this fall. School officials say they hope to burn a little less fuel by stopping less often and snaking through fewer side streets.