The recent decision to who drop off and pick up their children at l elicited a wide range of reactions from Fairfield residents.
Some support the idea; many criticize it and the that began what they're calling a mess. But, the main question people are asking: Why are parents driving their kids to school, adding to bus loop congestion and facing a fine?
The answer, some say, lies in the extended routes buses now take, due to a combination of the redistricting plan, the that followed and – of course – budget cuts.
At the Sept. 13 , Superintendent of Schools David G. Title explained that the public schools are using less buses for more runs.
The number of buses has been reduced from 95 to 91, yet they are running 13 more loops than last year.
“Twenty-three buses run three loops,” Title said. “Last year, five buses ran three loops.”
And now the kids have to pay.
Resident Kate O’Gara has a sixth grader at Tomlinson who, though dismissed at 2:50 p.m., rarely gets home before 4 p.m. Her seventh grader, who attends , usually gets home at 3:30 p.m.
The Tomlinson bus expanded its route to include the newly redistricted and schools to “seemingly” avoid the cost of additional buses, O’Gara explained to Patch in an email.
Though she appreciates the savings as a taxpayer, she said, “I am not a fan of my daughter spending such a significant portion of her day on the bus.”
Resident Christine Sander added, “Not all children can handle hour-long transportation related commutes without severely impacting their overall well-being.”
Sander suggested in an email that rather than putting energy into fining parents, the town should consider hiring a “gifted town planner” who could move forward with new additions to infrastructure and the roads to dilute the traffic.
Title said at the Board of Education meeting that officials are “still sorting out the bussing issues.”
Board member Sue Brand suggested education officials look into which buses are emptier to see which areas parents are driving from.