Efficiencies Gained Through New Transportation Delivery Model to Save District $1.2 Million
New 3 Tier Routing System Adjust Start and End Times of Schools To Allow for More Efficient Bus Scheduling
PITTSBURGH, April 9, 2012 – As part of Phase 3 of its work to build a sustainable public school system, the District presented strategies that adjust the way students are transported to and from school. Presented at this evening’s Board Committee Meeting, the three transportation changes – implementation of a 3 Tier Routing System, increase use of yellow buses, and the alignment of the start and end times of the District Accelerated Learning Academies (ALAs) – stand to save the District approximately $1.2 million annually.
“We are taking deliberate steps to change our centralized systems in a way that make us better managers of tax dollars while continuing the progress we have seen in our classrooms,” said Superintendent Linda Lane. “While these transportation changes may prove challenging for some families, we believe our resources need to be dedicated first and foremost to the academics taking place in our classrooms.”
On December 7, 2011, the Board adopted the 2012 Budget, marking the eleventh straight year of no tax increases for City residents. The $529.8 million budget includes an operating deficit of $21.7 million in 2012 and adheres to the Board’s minimum five percent Fund Balance policy through 2013. Although the proposed 2012 budget results in lower operating deficit, the District still faces a more than $50 million problem in 2015. To address this problem the Superintendent informed the Board that it will be necessary to implement a Phase 3 plan for future reductions that will include the following three main parts aimed at decreasing the District’s funding gap by approximately $10-13 million:
- Further central office workforce reductions.
- Reductions or restructuring of Centralized Programs
- Savings through contracted services, technical services, and supplies that are non staff related.
2012-13 Transportation Changes
Beginning with the 2012-13 school year most District school will be placed in one of three transportation tiers. These tiers will have common start and end times to allow buses to go on three runs each day, instead of the current two runs. Changes include:
- Eight schools on Tier 1 school day will run 7:11am – 2:16 pm;
- Twenty schools on Tier 2 with a schedule that will run from 8:10 am – 2:51 pm;
- Twenty-two schools on Tier 3 running from 9:10 am-3:51pm;
- Due to its downtown location, Pittsburgh CAPA schedule will differ from other schools with students in grades 9-12 attending from 7:45am – 3:45pm, and students in grades 6-8 from 8:25am – 3:50pm.
The District is additionally working with private, charter and parochial schools as well around the District’s transportation constraints.
In order to gain efficiencies through the new 3 Tier Routing System, the District will increase its use of yellow buses and align the start and end times of the District’s ALAs, which will eliminate the schools’ extended day for students. In light of proposed Port Authority service cuts that significantly eliminate neighborhood service, the District will reduce the number of purchased bus passes by 1,300, placing more high school students on yellow buses. By eliminating the extended day for ALAs, students that attend ALAs can be grouped with the rest of the District’s schools for transportation purposes. The academic best practices of the ALAs will remain in place for students, while teachers will use the extra time to focus on improvement strategies.
For view the complete Adjustments to the Delivery of Transportation Services presentation for a complete listing of Tier School Groupings.