Additional changes to student transportation program announced

The Dept. of Education (DOE) is moving into another phase of its “Get on Board” student transportation initiative servicing regions on Oahu.

Parents and guardians of public school students eligible to ride the bus will receive a postcard by Wednesday alerting them of their routes and pick-up times for the 2014-15 school year, which starts Aug. 1.

Postcards were mailed last week to more than 28,000 parents/guardians. The postcards, which contain information about the child’s neighborhood school bus route, stop location and stop times, should arrive by Wednesday.

Parents seeking to enroll their children for bus service must complete an application form, which is available at schools and on the DOE website Bus service will be provided only between the student’s official home address and assigned neighborhood school.

Households that do not receive the postcard by Wednesday are asked to contact the program’s hotline at (808) 586-0161 or their school.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade must reside a mile or more from the school within their attendance area to qualify for regular school bus service, or 1.5 miles or more for those in grades 6-12.

The DOE’s “Get on Board” program is a multi-year, multi-phased effort to improve the delivery and safety of transportation services to public school students.

Beginning this year, some buses may also be outfitted with video surveillance equipment.

The program launched last school year, restoring bus service to about 1,200 students in the Aiea, Moanalua, Pearl City, Radford and Waipahu High complex areas. In November, it expanded to serve about 200 more students from August Ahrens Elementary, Highlands Intermediate, Pearl City High and Waipahu High.

The restoration of the additional routes in November increased total ridership in the Get on Board pilot area to approximately 4,000 students.

For more information about “Get on Board,” visit the DOE website’s student bus transportation page.

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