Aug. 07, 2017
Some important reminders and updates for those families using yellow school bus transportation in the new school year.
The 2017-18 yellow school bus routes have been posted.
Thank you to the families that pre-registered by the June 11 deadline. More than 20,000 student addresses were submitted and were used to create more than 1,000 new routes for the new school year. Pre-registrations are still being accepted through My CBE Account but any new addresses will not be considered until mid-October when route changes may be made.
Please ensure your child has kept their ZPass as it is a multi-year pass that will be used again in the fall. Students new to the CBE will receive a new ZPass within the first six weeks of school. If you have lost your ZPass, please speak to your school about a replacement pass.
This year students using a yellow school bus to attend an alternative program will access a bus stop using a congregated stop model. This means that the travel distance to these stop locations may not be walkable because the stop may be located in an adjacent community or may be limited to one stop within a select part of the city. While students in non-language alternative programs have been accessing these stops successfully for a number of years, this will be brand new for students attending a language alternative program. Also new this year, low ridership routes with less than 30 riders will be combined with existing routes, and these students will travel farther to a congregated stop.
In October, a confirmation email will be sent to all parents/guardians who pre-registered with the final transportation fee and payment options. You can cancel your transportation pre-registration with no financial penalty using your My CBE Account or replying to the confirmation email before Oct. 31, 2017.
For students using Calgary Transit, families will need to purchase monthly bus passes. Please ensure that you keep the passes and receipt of purchase for a rebate. More information about how to claim your rebate will be provided in September.
While summer is a busy time for the Transportation team building routes, work continues throughout the year to make ongoing improvements. In June 2016, we told parents about our long-term plans for transporting students that would help ensure we deliver safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation that is financially sustainable. Over the past year we have done significant work towards improving CBE transportation.
|Develop clear and objective criteria to differentiate transportation service levels other than by program choice
||Bill 1 – An Act to Reduce School Fees now regulates who qualifies for free transportation based on program and distance from home to the school.|
|Increase number of students using Calgary Transit or using a congregated stop model where feasible
||For the 2017-18 school year, 1,300 students at five additional middle/junior high schools will move to Calgary Transit, as well as 200 students from other communities with accessible transit service. For 2016-17 all non-language alternative programs moved to a congregated stop model. |
For 2017-18, language programs will be added use the congregated stop model.
|Explore a fuller partnership with Calgary Transit
||We continue to work closely with Calgary Transit on a variety of different areas that impact CBE students:|
- Ongoing communication regarding routes for CBE students.
- Planning for coordinated orientation for students who may transition over to Calgary Transit in the fall to include trip planning and safety and security.
- Promotion of the City of Calgary’s Fair Entry program that facilitates access to Calgary Transit for all Calgarians regardless of their income.
|Work with families to reduce low ridership routes (10 students or less)
||For the 2017-18 school year, low ridership routes with fewer than 30 students will be combined with other routes. Students may have to travel to a farther congregated stop.|
|Explore ways to get route information to parents earlier in the school year
||The introduction of Bill 1 impacted the start of pre-registration for the 2017-18 school year. In the future, plans are to begin pre-registration earlier to have routes available by mid-August, but no later than the week before school starts.|
|Continue working with an advisory committee (internal and external members) in developing a long-term strategy
||Two separate advisory groups merged to create the Transportation Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of CBE staff, parents and stakeholders who met three times during the spring of 2016 to work on setting service model differentiation criteria. We will continue to work with this committee on emergent issues.|
Other work completed by CBE Transportation Services in 2016-17 includes:
- Implemented BusPlanner software to increase efficiency in route planning.
- Completed a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for new carrier contracts with several improved clauses (age of fleet, first aid training for drivers, competitive pricing) and with parent representation as part of selection panel. Contracts were awarded in March 2017.Hired new and re-assigned existing department staff to improve service.
- Provided staff with ongoing training on BusPlanner software.
- Aligned bell times across the system in an effort to move to dual and triple partnered routes whenever possible. Check your school website for 2017-18 bell times.
- Created new manuals for parents, schools and providers to document transportation procedures. The parent parent manual is posted online.
- Documented processes and drafted updates to the Transportation Administrative Regulation.
As part of our initial transportation engagement School Bus Consultants, LCC was hired to do a technical review of CBE Transportation Services. A second report has been produced that analyzes the changes that have been implemented and decisions that were made for the 2017-18 school year. You can read the complete report on our website.