Work in Progress

Board of Education Updates

July 12, 2022 Transportation Update

Key Initiatives 
The following information is shared as “Work in Progress” regarding current initiatives to improve the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of BCPS transportation service. We are:

  • Implementing several strategies to attract new staff and incentivize existing staff. Those strategies and incentives can be found here.
  • BCPS Hiring
  • Updating discipline reporting and infraction/consequence guidance that includes a range of consequences for dangerous and/or repeat behaviors including removal from the bus. Please see more information regarding “Bus Discipline Procedures and Consequences” here.

  • Reviewing and resetting routing procedures and practices. This includes a current upgrade in the software that is used to support student and school bus routing.

  • Piloting a mobile and web-based application for upgraded communication and real-time data regarding the location of school buses in conjunction with student bus stops.

  • Implementing two-way bus radios that will enable all bus drivers safe, efficient, and effective real-time communication with Office of Transportation staff while buses are on the road.

  • Aligning all magnet school service, utilizing hub stops. Superintendent’s Rule 6400 and the BCPS Magnet Programs Brochure state:

Baltimore County Public Schools provides transportation to and from high school magnet programs for students who reside within the established transportation zone of the magnet program. Transportation is provided from a limited number of pick-up points located at designated school sites. Parents are responsible for providing transportation for their students to and from their designated pick-up point.

Pick-up points do not fall under the same guidelines as regular bus stops with regard to distance and walking conditions. In addition, supervision is not provided by the school system at the pick-up points.

  • Implementing a Multifunction School Activity Bus (MFSAB) pilot in four (4) high schools during the 2022-2023 school year for non to/from school service. Pilot high schools will be able to utilize MFSAB vehicles for transporting small numbers of students to activities and events rather than procuring a school bus for such service.

  • Extending the middle school AM drop off window to thirty (30) minutes before the school’s start time and formally extending the high school AM drop off window. Extending these windows will allow students who have formerly waited on the bus until fifteen (15) minutes before the school’s start time to disembark earlier. These secondary schools will utilize safety assistants for supervision of students as they enter the school.

  • Implementing the Northeast Area school bus transportation opt-in pilot to confirm ridership. This process is being implemented to increase route efficiency and improve service to families. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, all students eligible for transportation in the Northeast Area must register for service to and from school. More information about the Northeast Area opt-in can be found here.

  • Implementing the use of newly approved and allowable alternative school vehicles to better support and enhance service for students with disabilities and displaced students.

  • Considering future service adjustment considerations which include, but are not limited to:
  • Canceling bus trips /routes when necessary and communicating known cancelations the night before so that families have time to plan.
  • Changing the middle school walk / non-transported zone to 1.25 or 1.5 miles.
  • Changing the high school walk / non-transported zone to 1.75 or 2.0 miles.
  • Examining all school start times as a part of additional transportation efficiencies for the 2023-2024 or beyond.