State funding for school bus transportation is determined once a year by counting the number of students riding the bus in the morning and the afternoon. The annual Bus Ridership count occurs this year the week of September 30-October 4.
Parents are encouraged to make an effort to have students ride the bus as many times as possible the week of September 30th if they ride at any point in the school year. Buncombe County Schools Transportation Director Joe Hough points out, “If a child is going to ride the school bus during the course of the school year, it is very important that he or she ride as many days as possible the week of the count.”
State bus funding is determined by three factors - the total number of school buses operated, total expenditures, and the number of students riding. Over 16,000 students ride the bus on a typical day in Buncombe County, and utilize 291 buses.
Cuts to bus funding could result in negative changes to bus service such as, combined routes, increased multiple runs, and a reduction in the number of buses operated. Hough adds, “Parents should know that the school bus is the safest form of surface transportation. It is our goal to provide safe, reliable and efficient transportation service to our state’s most valuable resource, our children.”
Again, it would be beneficial for students who normally ride the school bus to do so the week of September 30-October 4. Students who do not ride the bus are not expected to ride this week.