Transportation FAQ's

Phoenixville Area School District Transportation Department

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. The Phoenixville Area School District (PASD) currently provides transportation to non-public resident students who attend schools within 10-miles of the district boundary. Can the district increase that limit to greater than 10 miles? Could the PASD offer "vouchers" to students attending schools further than the 10-mile limit? 

    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has established the 10-mile limit and provides reimbursement to the school district of approximately 35% of the costs of the service based upon that limit. Extending the current limit would require the PASD to increase the number of buses to transport students and increase the budget to fully fund the cost of those buses. Providing vouchers would increase the cost to the PASD and would not provide additional reimbursement from the Commonwealth. 

  2. How are the routes determined? If private companies can provide efficient routes for drivers, why are the student routes so difficult?

    The current routes are mapped by District personnel, using computer software and GPS devices, in collaboration with Wolfington, the provider of the services. Routes are determined by the home location and final school destination of each student. Private companies can shorten routes because they do not need to consider the same factors as PASD. In some cases, door-side pick-ups are necessary or consideration must be given for hazardous conditions. The PASD always considers the safety of students as the top priority and establishes routes with that in mind.

  3. Why do drivers speed by an established stop before the scheduled time if no students are visible?

    As noted above, the PASD guidelines are that "students should be present and visible at their assigned bus stop ten (10) minutes prior to pick up time. Bus drivers are not required to stop if there are no visible students at the bus stop." This guideline is provided to every student who utilizes the PASD bus services.

  4. Some "to and from" school bus rides are very long? What are the criteria for determining when to add additional buses?

    The PASD utilizes a one-way 90-minute maximum bus ride for any student based upon the standard "scheduled" bus route. Due to extenuating circumstances (i.e. excessive traffic, students not ready at the stop, weather, etc.) there may be some times when the ride is slightly longer. The PASD monitors the time schedules of buses and if a bus run is consistently longer than the 90-minute guideline, other alternatives are considered. Because the addition of a bus adds approximately $50,000 to our budget, the PASD is very careful to consider all options prior to the addition of a vehicle.

  5. Why is it necessary to co-mingle elementary and secondary students on the same bus?

    When establishing routes for non-public schools that PASD must consider the starting time and locations of the schools. If there are two or more schools in an area outside the boundaries of the school district that are in close proximity and start at similar times, the PASD transports different age students attending those schools on the same vehicle. As noted above, this practice saves significant monies by limiting the number of buses utilized.

  6. How many schools does the PASD provide transportation and what is the cost of that service?

    The PASD provides transportation for resident students attending 75 schools in the region. This includes seven (7) PASD locations, thirty (30) private schools, seventeen (17) special education schools, eight (8) pre-school locations, plus CAT/Pickering, the Renaissance Academy and Head Start. The total budget for the 2013-2014 Transportation Service is almost $5 Million. 
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