JCPS shutting down six bus depots, says 1,500 students will have - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS shutting down six bus depots, says 1,500 students will have direct routes

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools is doing away with some of its bus depots this year, meaning more kids will have direct routes to school.

JCPS says the move is making transportation easier on families.

"It's more of a customer service and ease of use aspect," said JCPS Chief Operations Officer Michael Raisor.

The district says six of its 18 elementary depots are going away. Roughly 3,500 kids use them right now. But starting this school year, nearly 1,500 students will get a direct ride to school.

"It's a lot more customer friendly,” said Raisor. “In most cases the children are going to get home sooner and there's just less confusion. They get on one bus at school and it takes them directly home and they get on one bus in the morning and it takes them directly to school."

The district used to be divided into six clusters, but now it's 13.

"If a child lives in a cluster and goes to the cluster school, they're going to have a direct ride to school," said Raisor.

Depots can be located anywhere from a bus compound to a parking lot. The district uses about 300 volunteers to help students learn about their transfer.

"And it's really similar to switching a plane or switching a train when you're in the station,” said Raisor. “Everybody switches they make sure they've got the right kids on the buses and they leave and transport kids home or to school."

Some parents like Michelle Constantine think depots can be wasteful.

"She catches the bus at 6:23 in the morning and school starts at 7:40,” said Constantine.”

That puts her daughter Jesse on the bus more than two hours a day.

"It really doesn't make any sense if they're picked up on the bypass and driven to the Gene Snyder, she switches buses, and then drives all the way back into the Highlands to go to school,” she said.

JCPS says the move will be a positive change.

"In the morning the buses are going to come a little later in the afternoon the bus is going to get home a little sooner, which is really convenient for families," said Raisor.

JCPS says it plans to eliminate the remaining 12 depots for elementary students in the next couple years.

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