Some Columbia Co. middle & high school students may have to walk to school

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 11:14 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA COUNTY. (WRDW/WAGT) - All of our districts are having to get creative with fewer bus drivers to go around.

The Columbia County School District decided to change the bus system before the first day to have fewer delays getting kids to and from school.

But there’s a catch. The change affects who can get on at the bus stop.

New year, new bus plans for Columbia County.

Some students in middle and high school will have to walk or find a ride.

“We had input from our principals, as well for these walks zones that were added. We know they’re the ones that are there every day, and they know that neighborhood quite well. It’s going to improve our efficiency,” said Associate Superintendent for Columbia County Penny Jackson.

The new plan frees up five buses to serve areas farther away, allows for fewer drivers needed, and cheaper fuel costs.

The walk zones are, at most, a mile away from each school and for middle and high schools. All elementary schools have bus options for every student.

The county recommends finding a group to walk with.

“We watch our students. Not only do they stop at bus stops together, but they walk to school together. We would encourage that,” she said.

The changes made this year’s buses more route-specific than in the past.

“They’re going to get on the same route number every single day. That will not change. It’s a double-digit number that doesn’t matter if we change their driver five times that day in order to get that route covered. That student is getting on their bus route every single day,” said Jackson.

A move that also will hopefully lessen confusion at the end of the day. “That was one it just is going to help us. It’s student-friendly. It’s customer friendly. And so our students and our staff will know every day what those children are riding,” she said

To find your student’s route, visit CCBOE.

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