SFUSD mulls cutting buses

School buses will be cut by 57 percent during the next three years if a proposed cost-saving transportation policy is adopted by the San Francisco Unified School District.

The proposed changes include reducing service to roughly 900 children, reducing the district’s bus fleet to 25 and eliminating transportation for 950 students to after-school programs.

Buses would continue to provide service to students living in low test-score areas and bring them to language-immersion and K-8 schools. They would also still provide service to racially isolated schools to create diversity and bring students from high-density areas of The City to lower-density areas, district officials said.

Though cuts to specific bus routes and stops were not revealed Wednesday, Board of Education Commissioner Rachel Norton said she was not comfortable supporting a proposal that abandoned families who did not participate in the district’s after-school programs.

“I think we need to guarantee a spot for those students at an after-school program at their school if we’re taking away their transportation,” Norton said.

Betty Robinson-Harris, chair of the district’s child development committee, warned the SFUSD that cuts could potentially hurt parents in the Bayview district the most.

“I know parents of the Bayview community truly depend on transportation to get their children back and forth to school,” Robinson-Harris said. “Please keep in mind the social justice issues.”

District officials said the changes are long overdue, though. The current routes are a “hodgepodge” of destinations from student assignment policies and school requests beginning in the 1980s.

The district currently transports roughly 3,300 general-education elementary school children with 44 yellow buses on various routes. Special education is a separate operation and is required by law.

It costs the district roughly $100,000 to operate one bus, according to Assistant Superintendent Myong Leigh. The district spends roughly $6.3 million on general-education transportation. Changes would reflect the new student assignment system, adopted in March, and be phased in over the next three years.

“It’s not easy to make such sweeping changes,” said Orla O’Keeffe, SFUSD’s education policy analyst. “We will be looking at each stop, their implications and how they relate to our goals.”

Bay Area NewsLocalNEPTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

<em>The San Francisco Peace Pagoda stands tall in between Japan Center East and West malls.</em>
 (Ida Mojadad/The Examiner)
Patrons return to the Japantown mall

‘We’re so happy—it’s really hard to make a profit’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Scenes from an SFO-bound BART train on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, the day California fully reopened for business after the COVID pandemic. (Al Saracevic/SF Examiner)
SF reopens: BART riders dreading the end of the pandemic

‘I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be packed like sardines’

High noon in Union Square: Ten Canyon High School (Anaheim, CA) graduates, Class of 2021, on a senior trip in San Francisco. They weren’t certain of City rules so they remained masked outdoors. Even though one of their personal vehicles was broken into while touring Golden Gate Park, they appreciated the beauty of San Francisco. (Catherine Bigelow/The Examiner)
Signs of life: From Union Square style to Portola soul

‘The return of this icon is thrilling’

Most Read