Last year, the San Carlos School District received a Safe Routes to School grant from the San Mateo County Office of Education in order to run a bus shuttle pilot for students attending school on the Tierra Linda/San Carlos Charter Learning Center campus. The goal of the pilot was to determine if we could reduce traffic on the San Carlos Avenue corridor and on to the TL/CLC campus during peak drop-off and pick-up times. The SCSD partnered with the Sequoia Union High School District who “loaned” us a 72-passenger bus and driver for this pilot. The pilot ran from May 18 through June 8, 2012 with students being picked up from three locations in the morning and dropped off at three locations in the afternoon.
Initially there were 75 students who signed up for the shuttle. By the end of the pilot, 98 students were signed up. However, ridership never reached more than 38 students in one day. The cost to the district to run the shuttle was approximately $405 a day, which covered the cost of the bus driver and fuel. At the Board of Trustees Meeting held on June 28, 2012, the Board discussed the pilot project and the results of a survey of parents of participating students. The pilot project demonstrated that although interest in this project was high, it did not translate into actual usage of the bus by the families who signed up. Between the low participation rate and the high cost of running the bus, the Board determined that a transportation project of this nature is not financially feasible for the District at this time. Therefore, we will not be able to offer shuttle service to TL/CLC this year.
The District will continue its partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Education around Safe Routes to School this year. Through education, and the activities available through this partnership and our partnership with the City of San Carlos we hope to continue to encourage safe passage for students to and from school.
If you would like to view the report to the school board at the board’s June 28th meeting. You can see their presentation here.