How are Bus Stops Determined?
The Cambridge-Isanti Schools Transportation Department serves over 5500 students within our 252 square mile community each day. Bus stops and routes are designed with consideration of safety, efficiency, least cost and shortest overall ride times.
Bus routing is designed with buses traveling on main roads through neighborhoods and with students being picked up and dropped off at central locations. Bus stops are located at corners or intersections whenever possible and are usually central to where students are coming from. Some house stops are made on very busy roads or mid-way on long streets. Bus stops will generally be closer to student's houses for younger students. Older students are expected to be able to walk further to bus stops.
Why are bus stops usually established at corners or intersections?
- Students are generally taught to cross at corners rather than in the middle of the street.
- Traffic controls, such as stop lights or signs, are located at corners. This tends to slow down motorists at corners and they tend to be more cautious as they approach intersections. The motoring public generally expects school buses to stop at corners rather than individual houses. Impatient motorists are also less likely to pass buses at corners than along a street. Cars passing school buses create the greatest risk to students who are getting on or off the bus.
- In the winter, salting and sanding is usually done at corners, providing safer stopping for buses and cars.
- Buses use their eight-way light system and stop arm when picking up and dropping off students. Corner stops allow ample time for the driver to activate the yellow warning lights before getting to the stop.
- Bus drivers, especially substitutes, can see corner stops much more easily than house numbers, so they can keep their focus on their driving. House numbers are located in a variety of places on houses and are often not easily visible from the street, especially in bad weather and before dawn or after dusk.
- Ride times for students are shorter if buses are kept on main roads and are not sent down every street. Route changes for new students can be more easily accommodated when stops are at corners. Minimizing stops also reduces costs for fuel as well as wear and tear on the buses.
Other bus stop considerations:
Combinations of the following criteria are also considered when establishing bus stops:
- Length of walk to the stop.
- Time of day students are at the stop. Is there rush hour traffic? Volume of traffic on the road. Is the stop on a residential street or a main arterial road?
- If the street is busy, are there sidewalks to walk on?
- Does the child have to cross a busy street to get to the stop?
- What is the age of the student?
- Does the route require that the bus do a turn-around at the stop location?
Please note: Scheduling may take up to 5 school days. If you have moved, please contact your school of attendance to update your information prior to contacting Transportation. An alternate site request is not needed.
Criteria Not Considered for Adding a Stop.
- It is not possible to provide bus stops that are within sight of all student's homes or daycare unless house stops are made for all students. Most families that live even one house from the corner cannot see the corner bus stop without coming out of the house. We do encourage parents to be out at bus stops to promote proper pedestrian and bus stop behavior.
- A house stop would not necessarily be made only because the bus goes past a student's house. Many routes travel past student's houses on the way to or from school. The higher frequency of stops made by the bus make the motoring public impatient and cause drivers to drive around the bus, causing a greater safety concern than the distance a student must walk to the bus stop.
- Likewise, a house stop would not necessarily be made because there is only one student at the stop. Other students may be assigned to the stop, but ride infrequently. Also, stops are made at corners for efficiency and to accommodate other students who may move into the neighborhood.
- A bus stop will not be made within a cul de sac. A school bus requires 115 feet to safely turn and cul de sacs usually do not have enough room for safe access, particularly in the winter and when other vehicles are parked in the cul de sac. Going into a cul de sac forces the bus to have to back up and this is an extremely dangerous maneuver we want to avoid.
- Weather conditions are not part of the criteria for a bus stop change. Other routing considerations: The order of pickup and drop-offs of students is designed to be the most efficient and within the shortest possible time.
Other routing considerations:
The order of pickup and drop-offs of students is designed to be the most efficient and within the shortest possible time. Students who are first on in the morning will not necessarily be the first off in the afternoon if it is a less efficient way to run the route. In general, the farther students live from school, the longer their bus ride will be. The length of the bus ride is determined by both the distance from school and the number of stops made. It takes a considerable amount of time to make thirty stops for 50-60 students, for example. For this reason, we are making every attempt to minimize the number of bus stops and to keep them at corners.