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Transportation coordination in Colorado can benefit schools and communities

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Title:
Transportation coordination in Colorado can benefit schools and communities
Creator:
Erickson, Jeanne Jarvis
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of planning and community development)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
College of Architecture and Planning, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Planning and community development

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University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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Copyright Jeanne Jarvis Erickson. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
1ANSP0RTATION COORDINATION
IN COLORADO
CAN BENEFIT SCHOOLS
& planning
AND COMMUNITIES
JEANNE J. ERICKSON
ARCHIVES
LD
1190
A78
1985
E74
AURARIA LIBRARY
U1A701 ci73SSfll
J
1985


.TRANSPORTATION COORDINATION IN COLORADO
/y
CAN BENEFIT SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES
by
Jeanne Jarvis Erickson
/
B.A., Michigan State University, 1962
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate Program of Planning and Community Development of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Planning and Community Development
May, 1985
Date Due


Erickson, Jeanne Jarvis (Master of Planning and Community Development)
Transportation Coordination in Colorado can Benefit Schools and Communities:
Thesis directed by Professor Herbert H. Smith
A search of existing literature has revealed that little has been written regarding School District/Public Transportation Coordination. The literature search revealed some coordination in states other than Colorado particularly in large cities on both coasts. Drawing on the most current and relevant available literature information, this study concentrates on the potential School District/Public Transportation Coordination in the State of Colorado.
The study first evaluates fundamental school district/public transportation coordination issues including contrasting size of systems, operating costs, capital costs, problems relating to federal funding, peak hour congruency and school bus physical constraints.
An analysis is presented of coordination objectives, problems and techniques. This analysis is presented in light of benefits to the school districts as well as the benefits to public transportation and constraints on the coordination of student and public transportation. Economic implications to both school districts and transit are evaluated considering users,


non-users, and the public interest. Also, legal and political aspects of coordination are addressed.
Following a selected review of current school district/public transportation coordination practices throughout the United States, a range of coordination alternatives are presented that are focused on Colorado. Finally, a number of policies, procedures and legislative changes are suggested for school district/public transportation coordination and/or consolidation which will allow for implementation in Colorado both in urban and rural settings. The analysis concludes with a brief list of subjects deserving of further detailed research.


DEDICATION
This is dedicated to my husband, David and my children, Jennifer and Russell, for their understanding and encouragement through the work on this thesis.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to acknowledge Robert E. Leigh and Joseph A. Hart of Leigh, Scott & Cleary, Inc. for their insights on transportation planning. In addition, I would like to thank Herbert H. Smith for his guidance in the research and preparation of this thesis. Numerous discussions over the past few years with Professor Smith have given me an appreciation and understanding of the role of politics in planning.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER PAGE
I. INTRODUCTION ..................................... 1
The Consolidation/Coordination Problem ........ 1
Consolidation of the Two Systems .............. 2
Coordination and Cooperation Between
the Systems ................................ 3
Study Approach ................................ 5
Opportunity ................................... 6
II. THE SCHOOL DISTRICT - PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
ENVIRONMENT ................................... 7
Overview ...................................... 7
The Use of School Buses to Transport Pupils .. 9
Organizational Structure .................. 10
Operational Aspects ....................... 16
The Use of Public Transit to Transport Pupils.21
Legislative Aspects ....................... 23
Operational Aspects ....................... 24
Summary....................................... 27
III. CURRENT SCHOOL/PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Coordination Programs ........................ 28
Existing Colorado Coordination ............... 28
Pupil Use of Public Transportation............ 35


CHAPTER PAGE
Non-Pupil Use of School Buses ............... 38
Response to Emergency Conditions ............ 43
Summary ..................................... 46
IV. ISSUES IN COORDINATING PUPIL AND PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION .............................. 47
Students Use of Public Transportation ....... 47
Public Use of Student Transportation ........ 52
Summary ..................................... 55
V. ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS FOR COORDINATION/
COOPERATION ................................. 56
Pupil Use of Public Transit ................. 57
Non-Pupil Use of School Buses ............... 59
Most Promising Alternatives Analysis ........ 63
Alternatives Summary ........................ 77
VI. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................ 80
Opportunities and Constraints ............... 80
Recommendations ............................. 83
Suggested Research .......................... 89
LIST OF REFERENCES .............................. 91
APPENDIX
93


TABLES
TABLE PAGE
1. School and Transit Bus Operating Costs
Assumptions and Calculations ................. 11
2. School District I Supplemental Services
Contracted School Year 1983-1984 ............. 30
3. Demographic Comparison of Transit Riders to
Population in Service Area of
Colorado Springs Transit ..................... 33
4. Pupil Use of Public Transit .................. 57-58
5. Non-Pupil Use of School Buses ................ 59-62
6. Comparison of Operations Costs for
Daily School Transportation .................. 68
7. 1984 RTD Budget ................................. 69


FIGURES
FIGURE
1. Weld County School District 6 Lift-Equipped
Vehicle Use By Hour ......................... 71
2. The Bus Lift-Equipped Vehicle Use By Hour ...... 73


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The Consolidation/Coordination Problem
An issue long discussed in some Colorado communities is whether there are significant inefficiencies resulting from the fact that there are two separate and distinct public bus systems operating in the same area — one, the public transportation system, and the other, the bus system operated by the school district. There is certainly an "appearance" of inefficiency in that the buses operated by the two systems often travel the same general corridors, and physically, the buses have many similarities. The purpose of this study is to examine in greater detail the common operations of the two systems and to investigate several alternative actions that would improve overall public and student transportation services and lower the total cost of providing those services.
In simple terms, it is believed that efficiencies and/or cost savings could be obtained by either consolidating the two systems into only one operation, greater coordination of the facilities and operations of
the two systems, or greater cooperation between the two


2
systems. In theory, any of these three actions would result in the following:
1. More efficient use of buses
2. Community tax savings
3. Improved service for students
4. Improved service for the public
These three actions of consolidation, coordination and cooperation are discussed in greater detail in the following sections.
Consolidation of the Two Systems In this action, it is presumed that the public bus system would provide all transportation of school children in the community. Some constraints which make consolidation difficult in communities are:
1. Contrasting Size of the Systems - School district boundaries usually do not coincide with a public transportation service area.
2. Operating Costs - The school district could contract with the public transportation system to provide charter service but operating costs would be higher than present school district operating costs due to higher wage rates and insurance premiums.
3. Capital Costs - Capital costs for public transportation systems have been funded at 80% by Urban Mass Transportation Administration in the past,


3
and may be in the future. School district capital costs are paid by local taxes.
4. Problems Relating to Federal Funding - The cost of transporting pupils on school buses is financed by state and local taxes and is not federally funded. A reduced "youth" fare is usually offered on regular routes. Where the subsidized portion of the fare is not funded by the City and where the fare charged to the school district does not cover the actual cost of operation, it appears that federal funding is being used to subsidize student transportation. This could endanger federal capital and operating cost subsidies for the public transportation system.
5. Bus Route Conflicts - Generally, provision of public transportation on other than regular routes of buses will increase the cost to the school district. Reimbursement to the school district by the state for transportation costs will be less than is currently received if the system carries the students.
6. School Bus Physical Constraints - School buses are not generally used in public transit because they have a less comfortable ride, higher steps, smaller seats and narrower aisles. They do not have fare boxes and many amenities desired by public transit system patrons.
Coordination and Cooperation Between the Systems The disadvantages of consolidation of the two


4
systems cited above, does not rule out some cost savings and service improvements which may be realized by coordination and cooperation between the systems. Various actions that can be taken are considered to be very feasible and should result in increased efficiency or cost savings. In general, school buses may be used to provide other services during periods in which they would otherwise sit idle. Transit service may be used in place of school bus routes, thereby reducing the size of the school bus fleet. The purpose of this study is to examine these and other ways in which pupil and non-pupil transportation services can be made more effective and efficient.
To provide a measure of balance in weighing the benefits of greater coordination and cooperation between the public and school bus system, it should be pointed out that there are many problems associated with them as well. In many ways, school transportation and general public transit are not complementary. Peak-hours for pupil travel and those of the general public occur at about the same times during the day. Without alteration of travel patterns of either students or the public, there may be few prospects for coordination. Other difficulties are the understandable concern of the school district for safety and control of student transportation. Only one student has been killed on a school bus in the last 13 years in Colorado.^


5
Study Approach
A computer search of TRIS and ERIC data bases found very little information written on this subject.
Most of the existing information concerns use of school buses for non-pupil transportation.
Drawing on the most current and relevant available literature and on input from school and public transportation providers, this study concentrates on realistic potential coordination strategies. This study first evaluates the pupil transportation environment including the legislative and operational aspects of coordination. Secondly, the issues including organizational structures affecting both transportation systems are examined.
Following a review of coordination strategies throughout the country an analysis is presented of realistic short-term alternative actions for pupil use of public transit as well as for non-pupil use of school buses in a matrix format. This analysis is presented in the form of possible applications to Colorado with advantages and disadvantages of each potential action. Economic and legal implications are also addressed.
Finally, a number of policies and procedures are suggested that will allow for flexible implementation in Colorado, both in rural and urban areas. The analysis concludes with a brief list of subjects deserving of further detailed research.


6
Opportunity
In spite of the potential problems associated with greater coordination or cooperation between the public bus system and the school bus system, there are many potential benefits as well. The purpose of this study is to explore, in considerable detail, alternative courses of action that might be taken and make appropriate recommendations. The matrix in Chapter V briefly analyzes the many possible actions. Then, the most promising of these are considered in greater detail.
As with any change in policy, an educational period will be necessary before there will be comfortable acceptance among decision makers. It will be the responsibility of community planners, educators and transportation professionals to provide the educational tools necessary to gain public acceptance of coordination in the provision of transportation services to all segments of the population.


7
CHAPTER II
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT - PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT
Overview
Examining the coordination of school district and public transportation is a matter of seeking the wisest possible use of community resources. While school districts and city and county government historically have carefully and deliberately been kept separate, public transportation and school expenditures come from the same source — the tax-paying public. A discussion of the expenditures of funds for facilities and services of either city or county government or the schools is a discussion of community resources, not just an undertaking of the government or the school district.
Since the costs of both school transportation and public transportation are rising steadily, primarily due to higher wages, and the resources, particularly federal funding, supporting them are shrinking there seem to be good reasons to attempt coordination in order to reduce costs and/or increase service.
School Districts have expanded transportation services and thus capital and operating expenditures due to:
o increased transportation demands by the parents


8
of school children resulting in reduced eligibility requirements;
o school closings which have resulted in more students living far from the school they attend;
o extension of education to handicapped children within the regular school setting;
o court ordered busing required to achieve racial balance in school districts;
At the same time, public transportation systems are in need of increasing ridership and revenues in order to survive. The shared use of transportation facilities, at least in theory appears to make sense.
A public school system itself, in Colorado is not required by law to provide transportation for its students. According to Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS)25-51-102, school officials may provide for the transportation of pupils to and from school however, in the judgment of the school board, transportation is advisable. Thus a school district may either run a transportation system operation themselves, contract out for such services to a private company or pay transit or paratransit fares for those pupils in the district that need them.
Difficulties in coordinating transportation may be seen as legislative and operational. The legislative barriers include school board policies, and state and


9
federal laws and regulations. The operational difficulties include vehicle type, peak hour congruency, wage differentials and safety. Some coordination already exists in Colorado, in Colorado Springs, Boulder and Denver. This coordination is documented and examined in Chapter III, in order to determine what steps have been taken. Changes need to be made in the legislative area and it is hoped this study can focus attention on those issues.
The Use of School Buses to Transport Pupils
School district transportation programs often operate very efficiently, optimally utilizing buses to serve the needs of the schools. School bus routing is very dynamic, changing each school year depending on where the children live and also changing daily depending on conditions such as weather, field trips, shuttles and so forth.
Table 1 shows typical operating costs for school buses and public transit buses in Colorado. The operating cost of school bus service is estimated to be about $15.00 per hour including labor, maintenance, fuel, etc. Transit system operating costs are estimated on the average to be about $20.00 per vehicle-hour due to higher labor, insurance and other fixed costs.
School bus operations are subject to several federal and state regulations and to the local school board policy. These legislative regulations, as well as


10
particular operational aspects of the school bus transportation system, represent constraints on the ability to consolidate transit service.
Organizational Structure ,
The responsibility for pupil transportation lies primarily with the states. Federal Safety Standard Number 17 specifies that a single state agency is to have primary responsibility for the administration of pupil transportation. In Colorado, the State Department of Education ensures that compliance with and knowledge about the legislation and regulations concerning pupil transportation are disseminated to the school districts.
In addition, it allocates the State funding to school boards to reimburse a part of the cost of transporting pupils to and from school.
Pupils in Colorado are transported by district-owned school bus, primarily. The school board operates or contracts a pupil transportation service which utilizes the traditional yellow school bus or other vehicle marked "school bus". Only 3% of the school buses in Colorado are privately owned. A few students, for whom the districts provide transportation, use public transit in Denver and Colorado Springs. A larger number of pupils use public transit who are not eligible for school-provided transportation due to distance requirements set by school boards, according to Dr. Gerald Elledge, Director of Transportation for Denver Public Schools.


11
TABLE 1
SCHOOL BUS OPERATING COSTS ASSUMPTIONS AND CALCULATIONS
1984 Approximate Operating Costs Item Cost
1. Labor $5.30/Hour
2. Overhead $0.25/Mile
3. Maintenance $0.13/Mile
4. Fuel, oil, tires, etc. $0.51/Mile
Based on an average in-town speed of about 10 miles per hour/ total vehicle operating costs per hour is calculated as shown below:
$5.30/Hr. + ($.25 + 0.13 + 0.51/Mi.) 10 Mi./Hr. = $14.20/Hour
Use approximate $15.00/Hr.
Source: Weld County School District No. 6 and Leigh,
Scott & Cleary, Inc.
TRANSIT BUS OPERATING COSTS ASSUMPTIONS AND CALCULATIONS
1984 Approximate Operating Costs
I tern
1. Labor
2. Overhead
3. Maintenance
4. Fuel, oil, tires, etc.
Cost
$8.00/Hour $0.40/Mile $0.23/Mile $0.54/Mile
Based on an average in-town speed of about 10 miles per hour, total vehicle operating costs per hour is calculated as shown below:
$8.00/Hr. + $0.40 + 0.23 + 0.54/Mi.) 10 Mi/Hr. =
$19.70/Hr.
Use approximate $20.00/Hr.
Source: Colorado State Department of Highways, Transit
Section


12
The legislative and operational aspects of school transportation have become ever more complex over the years. The following federal and state laws and policies, as well as the operational considerations for school transportation, illustrate graphically the environment in which coordination must take place.
Federal Legislation and Regulations
United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Highway Safety Standard No. 17 establishes minimum requirements for pupil transportation safety with which all state laws must comply. Specifically, the pertinent requirements regulate the identification, specifications, operations, and maintenance of school buses.
This standard defines Type I School Buses as motor vehicles used to carry more than 16 pupils to and from school. Included in this definition are vehicles that at any one time exclusively carry pupils and/or school personnel; specifically excluded are common carriers.
Type II School Buses are defined as motor vehicles used to carry 16 or fewer pupils to and from school. Excluded from this definition are private autos.
Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires that all Type I school buses;
1. be identified with the words "School Bus" printed on the front and rear of the vehicle with letters at least eight inches high;
2. be painted the national school bus glossy yellow color;
3. be equipped with an eight-light warning signal


13
systems;
4. be equipped with a system of mirrors providing the seated driver a view of the roadway on either side of the bus and immediately in front of the front bumper; and
5. be equipped with stop arms at the option of the State.
In cases where Type I school buses are operated by a publicly or privately-owned transit system primarily for public transportation but also for pupil transportation, such vehicles:
1. Need not be painted yellow and black;
2. must be equipped with temporary "School Bus" signs while transporting pupils to and from school; and
3. need not be equipped with a warning signal system if the vehicle is used only in places where such a system is prohibited.
Type I school buses that are permanently converted for other than school transportation uses must be painted in a color other than school bus yellow.
While Type I school buses are used for non-pupil transportation, the words "School Bus" must be concealed or removed and the system of warning signals deactivated. Each state must have comparable minimum requirements for Type II vehicles.
Federal Safety Standard No. 17 also regulates seating specifications on all school buses requiring all seats to be permanent, be of a minimum size, and have a minimum spacing between seats. This standard also requires routing to be coordinated to preclude "standees" during vehicle operation. Finally, Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires school buses to undergo a state inspection twice a year, and pre-trip inspection by the


14
dr iver.
State Legislation and Regulations
The State Department of Education carries out the provisions of Colorado Law with respect to school bus transportation.
Colorado statutes are specific about who may use school buses, standards for buses and drivers, licensing and school bus route standards. Buses must stop at railroad crossings. There are detailed regulations with respect to passing school buses on the highway, contracts for transportation insurance and registration of school buses.
The following laws govern use of school buses for school districts which receive reimbursement by the Colorado Public School Transportation Fund:
Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) 22-51-102.
Definitions - As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. "Current operating expenditures for pupil
transportation" means expenditures for providing pupil transportation, exclusive of purchase or lease of pupil transportation vehicles or other capital outlays. The term includes expenditures for the following: Motor fuel and oil; maintenance and repair
of vehicles, equipment, and facilities; costs of employment for drivers while employed in pupil transportation; cost of employment paid specifically for providing transportation supervision and support services; insurance; contracted services; and reimbursement to pupils who utilize public transportation services. The term does not include amounts spent for public transportation for special education and vocational education programs for which the school district is otherwise entitled to receive state reimbursement.
2. "Entitlement period" means the 12-month period ending June 30 next preceding application for and determination of a reimbursement entitlement.
"Pupil transportation" means the transportation of
3.


15
pupils regularly enrolled in public schools through grade 12 to and from their places of residence and the public schools in which enrolled and to and from one school of attendance and another in vehicles owned or rented and operated by a school district or under contract with a school district.
4. "Reimbursement entitlement" means the amount of
reimbursement to which a school district is entitled under the provisions of section 22-51-104.
22-51-104. Methods of Determining Reimbursement Entitlement:
1. For financial aid in providing pupil transportation, for entitlement periods ending on June 30, 1980, and thereafter, each school district shall have a reimbursement entitlement, to be determined as follows:
(a) Forty cents for each mile actually travelled by vehicles operated by or for the school district in providing pupils transportation during the entitlement period;
(b) Twenty-five percent of any amount by which the school district's current operating expenditures for public transportation during the entitlement period exceeded the school district's reimbursement entitlement under the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection 1; and
(c) Not more than 60 percent of the costs of contracts entered into pursuant to section 22-32-110 (1) (w), for the purpose of conserving fuel of reducing operating or capital expenditures, or both, for pupil transportation under public transportation programs which comply with the code of federal regulations,
Tile 49, parts 390 to 397, or successor regulations thereto. Reimbursement entitlements under this paragraph (c) shall not be greater than those the school district would otherwise receive, if it operated its own vehicles or contracted for the exclusive transportation of pupils.
2. In no event shall the reimbursement entitlement of any school district under the provisions of subsection 1 of this section for any entitlement period exceed 90 percent of the total amount expended by the school district during said entitlement period for current operating expenditures for pupil transportation.
22-32-128. Use of School Buses by Residents of District - At times to be specified by the board, motor vehicles used for the transportation of pupils pursuant to the provisions of section 22-23-113 shall be available to groups of five or more residents of the district who are 65 years of age or older for use within or without the district. The board of education of each school district of the state shall adopt policies regarding the reasonable


16
use of such vehicles by groups of persons with special consideration being given those residents who are 65 years of age or older. Such motor vehicles shall be covered by an insurance policy similar to, with limits not less than, the insurance coverage which is in effect while said motor vehicles are used for the transportation of pupils. To the extent that such policies provide for the reimbursement to the school district of all the expenses for the operation of such motor vehicles as determined by the school district auditor, no such reimbursement shall constitute compensation, and it shall not subject the school district to the provisions of article 10 or 11 of title 40, C.R.S. The miles travelled and the costs expended under this article shall not be allowable for the computation of benefits accruing to a school district under the provisions of article 51 of this title.
School Districts in Colorado as noted above are reimbursed at a lower rate for use of public transportation or other contracted services for pupils than if they were to provide such services themselves.
This seems to discourage such use by districts since approximately 30 percent of operating costs statewide are reimbursed with state appropriations. However, capital expenditures for vehicles and facilities are not reimbursed by the state with the exception of some special education vehicles. Savings could be realized in the reduction of capital costs for school transportation if it could be provided by public transportation systems.
Operational Aspects
The 66 passenger school bus (3 to a seat) is by far the most common vehicle for school transportation. About 15 percent of the Colorado School Buses use Type II smaller buses, many of which are wheelchair lift-equipped. The average life of a Colorado vehicle is between ten and twelve years or 100,000 to 120,000 miles


17
of service according to the Colorado Department of Education. This is about average nationally.^
School bus fleets are fully utilized for home to school transportation only on school days for the two hours before school opens and the two hours after school closes. About twenty percent of most school bus fleets are used during midday hours (i.e., 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) for kindergarten and special education pupils. A few buses are in service after school or during midday hours for transportation of students to and from athletic events or vocational programs and field trips.
Both public and private school bus operators contract with wholesale fuel distributors to supply gasoline and diesel fuel to operate their fleets and sustain a reserve supply. During an emergency, school bus operators receive priority consideration for fuel needs. Diesel fuel requirements are guided under United States Department of Energy (USDOE) Special Rule No. 9, under which gasoline resources are set aside by most states for both public and pupil transportation.
The primary objectives of routing school buses are to minimize both travel time and vehicle miles traveled while accommodating the demand with a minimum number of vehicles. This process may be directly impacted by Colorado legislation regulating school bus routes and route standards or indirectly by the Colorado state law that allocates funding by the number of miles travelled.


18
Institutional factors affecting school bus routing are inherent in local policies regulating safety standards, school schedules, co-iningling of younger and older pupils, and the transportation budget. Other practical constraints include the location of students to be transported, the size (and capacity) of the available school bus fleet and the characteristics and terrain of the service area.
School bus drivers are, in general, part-timers, homemakers, college students, and other persons with large blocks of available time. In rural areas, the bulk of the drivers are from farm and ranch families. Applicants are carefully screened for driving and criminal records. Colorado has established standards for school bus drivers, most of which focus on licensing requirements. Colorado also requires that drivers be provided with a pre-service training program. Those school bus drivers who are hired full-time usually divide their duties between driving and maintenance (either as school custodians or garage mechanics). In Colorado, only Denver Public School bus drivers are unionized.
Wages vary from minimum wage to that equal to the wage earned by public transit operators. Drivers in rural areas start at about $4.00 per hour, and work a 16-20 hour week. Wages are higher in Denver, from $8.34-$9.33 hourly, according to the Denver Public Schools published "Wages by Position" pamphlet. Driver's wages represent


19
between 25% and 30% of the total school transportation budget in Colorado, as in other states.^
The provision of vehicle maintenance is impacted by legislative and institutional factors. Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires that all states establish preventive maintenance programs. Vehicle ownership, the pupil transportation budget and available facilities may often determine who performs maintenance - the school district itself, its contractor, or a local garage. Maintenance is generally the key to successful school bus operations. Preventive maintenance not only saves money in the long run, but enhances system reliability and pupil safety. Both public and private operators send chief mechanics to receive appropriate schooling when new equipment is introduced into the industry. Nationwide maintenance (including parts and labor) averages between 25 and 20 percent of the total school transportation budget.^
Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires two school bus inspections per year. Colorado includes school bus inspections in its legislation. In Colorado it is the responsibility of the State Department of Education to monitor inspectors hired by the school district. General inspection procedures include the removal of wheels and checking of individual bus maintenance and service records. Colorado requires annual formal bus fleet in-depth inspection plus informal spot checks with no advance


20
notice. Bus drivers also are required to perforin pre-trip inspections of lights, brakes, tires, seats, warning system, emergency door, etc.(^)
Liability insurance for pupil transportation services is purchased at state-mandated levels in Colorado. The premiums issued on pupil transportation services using school buses usually cover home-to-school and return trips and extra curricular trips. Insurance rates for services using school buses exclusively for pupil transportation are much lower than for general transit. This is because:
1. pupil transportation operations must meet rigid federal and state safety regulations resulting in good school bus safety records;
2. damage claims involving children do not cause loss of income; and
3. the type of service provided (i.e., limited hours of service, limited to specific routes) results in fewer accidents, minimizing losses paid out on school bus policies.
Insurance costs generally represent between 3 and 4 percent of the total pupil transportation budget.
The current purchase cost of a 66-passenger school bus is about $35,000, without special equipment such as wheelchair lifts. The cost of smaller buses ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the handicapped accessibility equipment installed. The larger school buses (72 passenger and up) cost about $50,000.^
The cost of transporting pupils on school buses is financed through state and local taxes and is not federally funded in any way. State funding is the


21
responsibility of the Department of Education. Colorado allocates funding using a flat grant with the local entitlement based on mileage. The balance, including capital costs and operations expenditures, is funded by the local school tax base.
The Use of Public Transit to Transport Pupils The primary alternative to operating or contracting school bus service to transport pupils is to utilize the existing public transit service. Some school districts are transporting pupils on public transit instead of, or in addition to, school buses, primarily because it is advantageous to those particular districts in terms of both cost and service efficiency.
The purpose in examining this segment of the pupil transportation industry is to identify the mechanisms of, and constraints upon, such use of public transit. The legislative and operational background is reviewed in the following sections.
Federal Legislation and Regulations, Legislative Aspects Title 49, Part 605 of the Code of Federal Regulations prescribes policies and procedures relating to the provision of pupil transportation on public transit.
It defines the following:
1. School Bus Operations - the transportation by bus exclusively for school students, personnel, and equipment in Type I and Type II school vehicles.
2. Tripper Service - regularly scheduled mass transportation service which is open to the public, and which is designed or modified to accommodate the needs of school students and personnel, using various fare collections or subsidy systems. Buses used in


22
tripper service must be clearly marked as open to the public and may not carry designations such as "school bus" or "school special". These buses may stop only at an operator's regular service stop. All routes traveled by tripper buses must be within the operator's regular route service.
3. Incidental Charter Bus Operations - the transportation of school students, personnel, and equipment in charter bus operations during off-peak hours. Such operations may not interfere with regularly scheduled service to the public.
The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, Section 3g provides that a public transit operator benefiting from Federal assistance may not engage in school bus operations in competition with private school bus operators unless:
1) the private operators are incapable of providing adequate service; or 2) the public transit operator has already been delegated the responsibility of pupil transportation. The public transit operator _is permitted to provide tripper service and incidental charter bus operations.
Federal regulations also do not allow the reservation of seats on public transit vehicles. While there is "priority seating" for the elderly and handicapped on public transit vehicles, giving up one's seat for this reason is requested and not required.
Section 13c of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended states that no employee will lose his/her job, make less money or work fewer hours as a result of federal assistance. This provision has been interpreted by UMTA and Department of Labor to apply only to employees falling within UMTA's definition of "mass


23
transportation". This includes employees of public transit as well as employees of school bus operators.
Section 3e, of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended states that no private mass transportation company will lose money as a direct result of federal assistance. This includes private transit operators and school bus operators.
An important result of this regulation, although well intended, is to thwart new forms of transportation provision such as students using school buses under contract switching to public transportation if the private contractor to the district loses money or goes out of business as a result.
State Legislation and Regulations
State assistance is available for the transportation of "eligible" pupils, (i.e., those who live either beyond a certain distance from the school they attend, which is determined by each school district, or participate in a special education program). Funding for public transportation for school children is provided at a lower level than that for school bus transportation in Colorado.
Colorado has passed legislation regulating minimum standards of service. State law requires that there shall be no "standees" while the bus is in motion. Pupils transported per trip, to and from school-related events, may not exceed the manufacturer's rated pupil capacity.


24
No one, except school personnel and school children regularly assigned to a vehicle, may ride in the bus without written authorization from an administrator.(4) Operational Aspects
The transportation of pupils on public transit usually begins with an agreement between the local school district and the public transit operator. The latter may enter into this agreement in the role of a contractor. Generally, this agreement includes one or more of the following components:
1. number of pupils and/or trips to be served;
2. level of payment/reimbursement;
3. mode of payment/reimbursement;
4. issuance of student passes; and
5. provision of service.
\
The number of pupils and/or trips to be served on public transit is usually specified in the agreement for two reasons: 1) to determine unit costs; and 2) to determine the necessity, nature, and extent of expanding service. A major determinant of the number of pupils transported is the proximity of students to a regular route. A public transit provider may establish a new route if a sufficient number of school trips may be generated along the route. Such a route must be published and open to the general public to comply with UMTA requirements, but could operate at times expressly designed for school service.


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The cost incurred by the school district in using public transit for public transportation varies from site to site. The level of payment varies from 9.5 cents per trip in Minot, North Dakota to 31.5 cents per trip in Denver, Colorado. Besides the differences in bus fares among the various sites studied, level of payment is primarily impacted by two factors. First, many transit systems have opted, or are required to offer a reduced "youth" or "student" fare on their regular transit routes and tripper runs. (In this case, the subsidized portion of the fare is not funded directly by the state, and where the fare charged to the district or student does not cover the actual cost of operation, it appears that Federal funding is being used to subsidize student transportation.) Second, the type of service contracted may impact level of payment. Generally, provision of pupil transportation by some means other than on regular routes may increase the cost to the district.
The method used to pay (or reimburse) the transit authority for providing pupil transportation may be classified as either prepayment or postpayment. The most common arrangement is to pay for the total cost of service in advance. If passes are used, districts may simply be invoiced per pass issued. Alternatively, districts may purchase tokens from the transit authority and distribute them to the appropriate pupils.
Prepayment systems primarily rely upon estimates


26
of project use. In contrast, postpayment systems are based upon estimates of actual use. One method of determining actual use is to perform periodic headcounts. Another method is to estimate use according to fluctuations in school attendance.
Some of the agreements made between the local school district and the public transit operator include the issuing of student passes. Some passes merely identify a pupil as eligible to ride public transit at a specified reduced fare. This type of pass may be used with tokens.
Other passes cover the fare, but the terms of use vary from site to site. Most passes may only be used between certain hours. For example, Sacramento California Unified School District buys passes for eligible students which are valid only from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days.(3) However, the pass could be used at other times (weekday evenings and weekends) with a nominal fare if desired. In this case, the district would appear to be subsidizing non-school travel. These passes may be limited to use only between a certain stop and school on the route specified.
In entering into an agreement with a district for the transportation of pupils, it is understood that the public transit operator will provide the additional capacity to accommodate the influx of pupils. This increase in demand is generally met by providing tripper


27
service (as previously defined). In most cases, this involves the scheduling of additional buses over regular routes during the A.M. and P.M. peak on school days. However, if the demand is not adequately met by existing route alignments, it may be necessary to design new routes or modify existing routes accordingly. Tripper buses are usually distinguished from regular buses by some identifying marking such as "SPECIAL" symbol. Moreover, the one common characteristic among tripper buses is that they almost exclusively serve pupils. While federal legislation forbids public operators receiving or benefiting from federal funding from excluding the general public, these users generally would not patronize tripper buses because they prefer not to ride with a busload of children.
SUMMARY
Systems are subject to extensive regulation as pointed out in this chapter. In spite of the many restrictions, there are many coordinated programs which are currently in operation in Colorado, the United States as a whole and throughout the world. The next chapter outlines a selection of these programs.


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CHAPTER III
CURRENT SCHOOL/PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION COORDINATION PROGRAMS
Existing Colorado Coordination
Currently several localities within Colorado have some form of school transportation/public transportation coordination. Generally speaking, arrangements are informal, that is students use public transportation because school bus transportation is not provided for them by the district or because they prefer it to the school bus. Of course, private and parochial school pupils have long used public transportation, often because there is no alternative.
Formal arrangements are scarce because of the institutional considerations of "turf". School transportation departments are not anxious to shrink by giving up some students to public transportation. School officials would rather not get involved in projects which have no direct relation to their primary function. Most school districts, due to declining birth rates, are not gaining enrollment, but costs of education for the remaining students have risen.
This situation will require districts to consider more cost-effective means of providing transportation for


29
school children. Some public transit providers including the Regional Transportation District (RTD) have not aimed their marketing strategies toward students, in part due to concerns about mixing students with the general public. A few years ago when RTD offered free fares during off-peak hours to encourage ridership, complaints were heard about the behavior of those students who took advantage of the program. Newspapers and television stations publicized the concerns of the bus drivers, passengers and businesses impacted by large numbers of rowdy students.
The Denver Public Schools in 1983 spent 9.7 million dollars or 4.4% of the general fund budget for school transportation operations. Included in that figure is $80,582 which was paid to independent contractors for transportation. A summary of those expenditures is shown in Table 2. The district found that these expenditures were very cost effective. The taxicab service came to $15.74 per trip which Dr. Gerald Elledge said was cheaper than running a school bus carrying one child.
Based on the Public School Transportation Act Reimbursement Claim Form (see Appendix) submitted to the State of Colorado annually, the Denver Public Schools operating cost per pupil trip was $1.23 in 1983-84. RTD bus fare is now 70 cents per trip in the peak hours (6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and 35 cents per trip in off peak hours. Youth (ages 6-19) passes are priced at $16 monthly. The potential for savings by the


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TABLE 2
SCHOOL DISTRICT I
SUPPLEMENTAL SERVICES CONTRACTED School Year 1983-1984
REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT
Special Education
43 student passes @ $16 each = $ 688.00
Vocational Education
3,070 tokens @ $.315 each = 967.05
137 student passes @ $16 each = 2,192.00
Regular Transportation to and from School
2,310 tokens @ $.315 each = 727.65
32 student passes @ $16 each = 512.00
Excursions
9,185 tokens @ $.315 each = 2,893.28
Special Programs
3,256 tokens @ $.315 each = 1,025.64
154 student passes @ $16 each = 2,464.00
RTD Total $11,469.57
TAXICAB USE
Number of Number of
Description Students Trips
After School Activities 2 2
Alt. Learning Center 3 77
Health Services 3 118
Illness 1,260 1,167
Special Education 25 2,403
T.L.C. 8 523
VOE 1 93
1,302 4,383
Taxicab Total$69,112.43 Total paid to independent contractors = $80,582
Source: Denver Public Schools


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School District on a per pupil basis could be 87 cents per trip.
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) carries many more pupils who are not eligible for transportation because they do not live further than two miles from their assigned middle school or three miles from high school. Fares are paid by the students in such cases and are not reimbursed by the school district. Because the RTD routes are set up to serve employment and shopping centers, they may not serve schools. However, there is much duplication of school and public transit routes. For example, three middle schools are located adjacent to Colorado Boulevard, a major north-south route through the city. Due to court ordered desegregation, many students are bused between primarily black and primarily white neighborhoods to these schools. RTD already uses at least one tripper bus which deviates two blocks on the Colorado Boulevard route to serve Gove Middle School mornings and afternoons.
However, students pay their own fares so there is no formal agreement between the schools and RTD in this case. RTD provides this service voluntarily in order to absorb heavy student ridership without disrupting regular Colorado Boulevard service.
Table 3 shows that 25 percent of the ridership on the Colorado Springs Transit System is students between the ages of 12 and 18. The school districts served by Springs Transit depend on the bus system to transport


32
students. Area school boards have tightened transportation eligibility requirements in the past five years in order to control costs. The transit system has responded by providing more frequent peak hour service to junior and senior high schools and charging a fare of 40 cents to students on school days.
In addition, peak-hour, peak direction passenger counts taken for the 1983 Transit Development Program revealed that several of the maximum load points were junior and senior high schools between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. While student ridership was up 9% over 1975 levels, ridership by passengers over the age of 65 declined by 6%. The consultant, McDonald transit, speculated that the increase in student ridership had driven seniors from the bus system, especially on routes serving the schools.
In Longmont, Colorado the Regional Transportation District instituted a free fare program within the city in September of 1984 at the City's request to increase ridership. The school children of the area took advantage of this program for rides to school immediately. Most student riders are not eligible for transportation on the school buses. School trips now account for 25% of the ridership of the system. Additional buses have been put on in the morning and afternoon peak hours to handle the influx of students. The number of school trips has risen by 31% over 1983 levels, according to surveys by RTD, while total ridership has risen 72% since institution of


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TABLE 3
DEMOGRAPHIC COMPARISON OF TRANSIT RIDERS TO POPULATION IN SERVICE AREA OF COLORADO SPRINGS TRANSIT
Percent of Percent of PopulationColorado Springs
in CST Service Area Transit Ridership
Sex:
Male 48.5 43.9
Female 51.5 56.1
Race:
White 80.0 69.1
Black 5.5 15.4
Hispanic 8.2 9.4
Asian 1.4 2.1
Other 4.9 4.1
Age:
0-5 Years 9.2 0.7
6-11 " 9.3 2.4
12 - 13 " 12.2 25.1
19 - 44 " 44.6 54.4
45 - 59 3 13.6 9.3
60 - 64 " 3.3 2.3
65 and Over 7.6 5.8
Income:
(Combined yearly income for
all persons in household)
Less than $5,000 11.3 19.4
5,000 to 9,999 18.7 22.3
10,000 to 14,999 18.5 19.2
15,000 to 24,999 28.6 19.0
25,000 to 34,999 14.2 10.8
Over 35,000 9.8 9.3
Auto Ownership:
(Vehicles per housing unit)
0 16.8 31.4
1 33.0 36.8
2 29.7 22.1
3 or more 21.5
Source: Colorado Springs Transit
Development Program, 1983, McDonald Transit


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the free fare program.
Greeley, Colorado leadership, according to Pete Morrell, Greeley City Manager, has for some years discussed the possibility of the city providing contract bus service for the School District. The sight of city buses on the same routes as school buses suggested an overall cost savings to citizens might be realized through integration, coordination or consolidation of the systems.
On February 7, 1984 the Greeley City Council passed a resolution that it was willing to cooperate with Weld County School District 6 in order to provide service for students. (See Appendix)
Consultants were hired to determine the potential for such a system. Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company, an accounting firm, determined that no savings could be realized through integration of the two systems and still maintain the quality of transit service currently provided due to:
o Higher labor costs for city bus operations o Higher seating capacity of school buses as compared to city buses
o Service characteristics - the city buses focus on downtown while school buses focus on schools Another consultant, a transportation planning and engineering firm, Leigh, Scott & Cleary, Inc. prepared a study showing cost savings if junior and senior high school students living within the city were not provided


35
school bus service. The Greeley bus system would then adjust regular routes to serve the schools as needed.
Costs could be borne by students and their families since bus fares for students are ten cents per trip in Greeley or by the school district. Other potential cost savings were seen in shuttle bus routes between schools which basically followed present routes. None of the study results have been implemented but a number of recommendations were made which would slowly begin a cooperation between the two very separate systems such as agreements for emergencies and shared training for bus drivers.^
Fort Collins, Colorado recently hired CRS Sirrine, Inc., a transportation consultant, to determine the potential for Transfort's coordination with the school district as part of a Transit Development Program Update. The interest in school transportation by the bus system stemmed from the positive experience it has had with carrying the college students at Colorado State University on a contract funded by student fees.
Pupil Use of Public Transportation
The literature search resulted in some case studies which are summarized below. Each has ideas which are readily transferrable to Colorado. The selected coordination programs have application in Colorado and do suggest that while cost savings may not always be substantial, services may be improved to school children


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and the general public.
In the Malmo region of southern Sweden, approximately 9,000 home-to-school trips are made on an average weekday on the community-operated transit system. This represents 45 percent of the public transit ridership. In addition to the regular route transit service, some students are transported by separate school buses and taxis in areas where the public transit service cannot accommodate student travel needs. There are indications that this arrangement is not necessarily cost-effective due to the morning peaking of school and commuter ridership. The same number of buses is required at that hour of the morning, whether students are on school buses or public transit. However, the community is very satisfied with this combined system.(3)
Hohenlohe, Germany, a rural area about one hour's drive from Stuttgart, Germany found that its regular route public transit system was suffering from loss of ridership. Therefore, an experiment was begun in 1979 to coordinate school transportation and public transportation to avoid loss of public transportation. Apparently, this experiment has been quite successful in saving operating * costs and in better coverage of the transportation
network. The primary conclusion of the study was that a great deal of cooperation was required to work out nitty-gritty problems of routing and scheduling and the need for a coordinating agency to "broker" the interests of both


37
systems is required. In this case the federal government of Germany filled this role.^^
The instances of coordination in the United States are most common in very large cities such as Atlanta where the Atlanta School District has a contract agreement with the metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority (MARTA) for transportation of pupils at a reduced fare of 15 cents. The school district is billed for the remaining portion of each trip, 10 cents based on an 180-day school year with head counts in fall and spring by drivers.
Yellow school bus service now costs 67 cents per trip in Atlanta so cost savings to the district are substantial.^
The City of Minot, North Dakota (population 33,000) provides fixed-route school shuttle circulator service during peak hours within school attendance areas and transports children directly to schools. Links between school shuttle routes and regular off-peak routes provide continuity of service for the general public. The school district has never provided school buses within the city except for special education. That service and one regular rural route are operated by the school district.
Fare for all passengers on the Minot bus system is 45 cents per trip. The school district does not reimburse student bus fare. However, the state pays the school district 9.5 cents per ride based on the bus driver's count. The school district turns this money over to the


38
City Bus System. Since Minot is a small town, the vast majority of students walk to school. Savings to the school district are substantial because there are such low out of pocket expenses for transportation.
Non-Pupil Use of School Buses
This section reviews past and present experiences involving the use of school buses for non-pupil transportation. These include services open to all members of the public and those limited to special market segments (e.g., the elderly and handicapped), services sponsored by municipalities, social service agencies, and private companies and organizations. Examples of operations under both typical conditions and in response to emergency situations are given.
In Arlington County, Virginia, (population 175,000,) available school buses, owned by the school district, are contracted for by the County to provide elderly transportation. Currently, two school buses are used on a regular basis to provide transportation to a county nutritional program. Daily ridership on these trips averages between 25 and 30 persons. Under the terms of the contract, the County is billed for the use of the school bus (at 36 cents per vehicle-mile) and for the driver's services (at $7.36 per hour). Federal funding under Older Americans Act (OAA) Title VII is used to provide this service. School buses are also utilized by the County to transport groups of seniors to social and


39
recreational activities. It is rare when more than one school bus is used at a time for this purpose. There are generally no more than ten of these trips made each month.
The Arlington County experience demonstrates that group (many-to-one) trips are a viable use for available school buses, especially since they represent an increase in revenue to the school district (or private contractor) and a less costly alternative vehicle for the County (or human service agency) than purchasing additional buses. (H)
Cape May is the southernmost, least populated (64,000) county in New Jersey. Local public transit is provided, but only during the resort season (May to September). Limited taxi service is also available throughout the year.
Twenty-nine percent of the permanent population of Cape May are senior citizens, many of whose transportation needs are unmet, especially during the off-season. In response, the county established a county-wide social service transportation system for elderly, low-income, and handicapped persons in 1974. Operating on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., this service provides fixed-route transit with five school bus-type vehicles and 24-hour advance-reservation demand-response service and subscription service with five vans. While the base fleet of vehicles is owned by the county, a lift-equipped school bus owned by a school district is occasionally used when


40
the demand for such service exceeds supply and if the school bus is available. The name of the service, "Fare-Free", denotes that no fare is charged. Federal funding under OAA Title III, Title VII and Title XX are used to support the system.
It is important to note that school bus operators can provide not only a source of vehicles for conventional fixed-route services, but also may be able to provide small van-like buses which are accessible to the handicapped.(3)
Johnson County, Kansas (population of 221,000) is located directly southwest of Kansas City. Most of the population is concentrated in the northeast sector of the County, while the rest of the County is quite rural.
There are five public transit routes which serve Johnson County; however, all of them are located in the northeast sector and primarily serve trips to Kansas City. Consequently, there is a lack of intra-county public transportation.
Since 1973, the Johnson County Mental Retardation center has contracted with a private school bus operator to provide transportation to its clients. Three types of services are provided. The first utilizes five school buses (three of which are equipped with lifts) to transport clients between their homes and the Center's sheltered workshop program on weekdays. Ridership on this service is currently averaging about 100 roundtrips per


41
day. The second type of service utilizes one or two school buses for recreational trips. Generally, one to two weekday trips are made each week and one weekend trip is made each month. Ridership on weekday recreational trips averages 35 while ridership on weekend trips averages 60 persons. The third service utilizes two school buses to provide a subscription commuter service for agency clients with jobs. A fare of $1.50 (paid in face-value scrip) is charged for this service. Ridership on this service is currently averaging 30 round-trips per day. The county is billed for the use of the vehicles (at 70-80 per mile) and for the use of the driver (at $4.47 per hour). In addition to the scrip revenue, Federal (Section V) and State funding is used to finance the service. (H)
Latah County, population 25,000, is located in a rural, mountainous region in north-central Idaho. Approximately half the population is concentrated in the City of Moscow on the county's and state's western border. The rest of the county is sparsely populated. Approximately 15 percent of the county population is elderly.
While there is a local taxi service in Moscow, the travel demands of the elderly and handicapped rural population, until 1975, remained unmet. At this time, the Area Council on Aging approached and subsequently contracted with five school districts for use of their


42
school buses in order to accommodate this need. This avenue was pursued for two reasons: 1) the school bus fleet represented the only existing resource that could adequately provide service; and 2) senior citizen groups had previously made use of available school hours for recreational trips.
Service began in 1975 on a regularly-scheduled twice-a-month basis along two designated routes, 90 miles and 112 miles in round trip length. The service is provided between 8:45 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. with 36 (adult) passenger school buses able to hold up to 36 adults. No fare is charged. The Area Council on Aging is billed monthly by the district for the use of the school bus (at 40 - 50 per mile) and for the services of the driver (at $3.00 - $4.00 per hour).
The Latah County experience provides an example of a case (and a valuable precedent) where the insurance obstacle of obtaining coverage for the use of school buses for non-pupil transportation was overcome. Specifically, the district's insurance underwriter added riders to the original policies, resulting in only a small increase in cost. (Adding a rider to a school district's existing policy cost an additional $50.00 per year per vehicle whereas writing a separate policy would have cost $1,600 annually.) Four out of the five districts assumed this cost, while the fifth included the cost in the mileage charge.(11)


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Response to Emergency Conditions
Many restrictions to the non-pupil use of school buses that are in effect under normal conditions are likely to be relaxed during an emergency to accommodate the increased demand for public transportation. The following two case examples illustrate how school buses have been used to alleviate general mobility problems respectively resulting from a blizzard and an energy shortage.
On Monday, February 6, 1978, a major snowstorm struck the Boston area, dumping over 30 inches of snow in a 24-hour period. The resulting disruption of all transportation service forced the governor to ban all but emergency vehicles from most streets and highways. While most of the major roads were cleared by the following Monday, the ban on non-essential private cars remained in effect, impacting nearly 350,000 who normally drove to work. Two efforts were directed toward accommodating this sudden increase in demand for public transit. First, employers and employees voluntarily staggered working hours to temporarily spread out the peak demand. Second, 30 suburban communities contracted with school bus operators to provide express commuter, feeder, and intracommunity service. Moreover, several universities, notably Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), contracted for school bus service for faculty, students, and employers to whom public transportation was not


44
accessible.
This experience is significant for several reasons. First, because work hours were staggered, the same school buses could be used for both pupil and nonpupil transportation. Second, because a state of emergency was declared, school buses could be used to augment existing public transit since all pertinent public utility regulations were temporarily suspended for the duration of the emergency. Third, school buses represent a resource that potentially can be used by private commuters to provide buspool service when there is a sudden lack of transit.
In June 1979 during the nationwide gasoline shortfall, Dade County, Florida's gasoline supplies were temporarily cut off by a truckers' blockade. Within a few days, both the governor and county manager declared a state of emergency. The county's transit system,
Metrobus, which typically carries 200,000 weekday passengers, suddenly experienced an influx of approximately 45,000 extra riders. To accommodate this increase in demand, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) negotiated with the County School Board for the use of nine school buses and their drivers to augment public transit. The fact that a state of emergency was in effect was key in that these negotiations could proceed without prior approval of either the Metrobus drivers' union or the school bus drivers' union. The school buses were used


45
primarily on express routes because these routes experienced the worst over-crowding. During the morning and afternoon peaks, school buses followed behind regular scheduled Metrobuses, thereby adding extra capacity.
Fares were collected by passing around a bucket at a designated point on the line-haul segment of the route and then transferring the collected fares to a waiting Wells Fargo truck. Under the agreement, the MTA guaranteed to replace the used fuel, and pay the school district 50 cents per mile for the use of the school bus and $6.85 per hour for the drivers' services.
After three and one-half days, the nine school buses collectively travelled 2,400 miles over 190 hours carrying an average of 22 passengers per trip (1,150 total). Operating costs due the school district for this period came to approximately $2,500 while insurance alone was $7,500. While costs totaled approximately $10,000, farebox revenue generated only $825.
It may be concluded that the temporary use of school buses to augment public transit was a successful means of accommodating the sudden increase in demand. As part of its Energy Contingency Plan, the MTA has negotiated with the County School Board for use of its school buses to provide public transit should a fuel shortage reoccur. The Dade County experience also points out a number of major detriments to the use of school buses under normal situations. The insurance costs in


46
this case were exhorbitant (amounting to three times all other operating costs), due to the minimum premium required by the school board's insurance carrier. Such costs may be difficult to accept even in the event of an emergency and this issue should be resolved more favorably in the design of the Contingency Plan. Other major problems, which were only avoided due to the emergency situation included labor issues, driver availability, and the difficulty of providing an acceptable fare collection system.
Summary
There have been some small efforts made in Colorado toward coordinating pupil and non-pupil transportation but more can be accomplished. We can save money and energy, reduce congestion on the streets and provide more service for each dollar spent. We can allow more citizens use of school vehicles for which all citizens pay in the form of property taxes. Students can readily pick up the "transit habit" by using it for necessary every day transportation to school and related activities. We may have to find new types of vehicles, hybrids which combine the attributes of school buses and transit vehicles. We may have to change school and working hours or even think creatively to make coordination work, but it can be done. The following chapter suggests specific alternatives with their application to Colorado.


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CHAPTER IV
ISSUES IN COORDINATING PUPIL AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Students Use of Public Transportation The issues involved in the student use of public transportation may best be illustrated by a very interesting case which came to public attention in the summer of 1983 in Pasadena, California. The school district there announced that it would not renew its contract for school bus service with the Embree Bus Service. Instead, the district said that it would buy bus passes for any junior or senior high school student who previously rode school buses. The Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) then announced that it intended to expand service to bus lines running near the affected schools. In addition, some routes would be altered in the morning and evening to the schools providing "tripper service" at those times. The SCRTD ran some bus routes exclusively for junior high and senior high schools in the city for the 1983-84 school year. The Pasadena Unified School District provided passes to students at the student rate of 20 cents per student per day to pupils in grades seven and eight who live more than two miles from school and to students in grades nine through twelve who live more than 2.5 miles from school.


48
The California School Bus Contractors Association charged that "the cost of school transportation would be simply transferred from the school budget to the RTD budget. In either case the costs of school transportation would be borne by the taxpayers. The school bus contractor stood to lose $747,000 per year in business.
The school district itself, however, in California as in Colorado, may either run a transportation operation themselves or contract out for such services to a private company or pay transit fares for pupils in the district that need them. Both federal and state law only stipulate that transport must be provided; it does not specify at what cost, or at what extent or what method must be used to provide service.
The motives for the policy in Pasadena are clear. The school district can say it saved 'X' dollars on transportation. Meanwhile, the SCRTD needs to build ridership on its system in order to build public support.
The private operator feels that since the public system is heavily subsidized by tax monies, this policy is a threat to the private sector of the transportation industry and to school district provided transportation, which may be provided now at a lower cost than public systems can.
The federal government certainly has a financial stake in moving school transportation to the public transportation providers. School districts nationally


49
could gain a grip on the UMTA operating assistance budget as local transportation agencies attempt to serve school children. Public transit's ridership would grow, but perhaps at a cost to the federal operating subsidies.
The Reagan administration opposition to federal operating assistance might find just the ammunition they have wanted if it were discovered that federal dollars were being used to take over private sector or local government services.
UMTA regulations, as previously noted, do allow tripper service as long as the service is published in the agency route schedule. In October 1982, UMTA further delineated what characteristics of "tripper" bus scheduling make that service "exclusive" and therefore in violation of federal law. An advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the subject stated that if any of the following factors exist, then a bus route is illegally exclusive:
o Students and school personnel are the only passengers allowed;
o The bus service only takes students and school personnel to and from school;
o The route's origin and destination is a school;
o The service operates only during school hours and the school year;
o The bus carries a sign indicating that it is a
school bus; or,


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o The school bus routes are not part of the
recipient's (operator's) scheduled service.
The two year delay in the revision of regulations, according to the UMTA Director of Public Affairs, is because this is an extremely complex issue.
Another issue raised in the Pasadena case is that students are using the passes for entertainment trips to movies and the beach. In California, attempts to pass legislation restricting student use of passes has failed although such restrictions are common in other states. Colorado does not have any laws which address this subject.
Private contractors contend that school buses are cheaper to the taxpayer. The transportation agencies, however, are in a dilemma. Do they sit by and refuse to transport a segment of the public in need of transportation, or does it provide service to school children and risk a violation of UMTA regulations (and 80 percent of its federal funding)?
The SCRTD did cancel those routes to junior and senior high schools which it felt threatened its federal funding. The cancellations were made in spite of the support for its school operations in a public hearing. However, SCRTD did increase the service to lines with stops near the schools affected.
This decision then raised another issue. Because the stops are not as convenient and as it is well


51
documented by now that more accidents happen at bus stops in the so-called on and off-loading "death zone" than on the buses themselves, is the safety of those students undermined? Who will be held liable if an accident occurs with students on-board - the transit authority or the school district?
A related issue is that the goal of public service is to provide maximum public welfare with minimum public cost. For student transportation that goal is to transport children as safely and inexpensively as possible. Since the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the federal government has created a very stringent set of safety standards for student transportation vehicles. Although there has been a lengthy set of regulations issued for Advanced Design Buses by UMTA, these rules for transit coaches are not as strict as those for yellow school buses. Accordingly, the school bus is the safest form of service transportation, vehicle mile for vehicle mile, in existence.(H)
By allowing school tripper service, some contend that the safety of school children is undermined.
Whenever there are school bus accidents, as recently happened in Denver, there are some who insist on seat belts for school buses.So far this has not been done and there have not been many people asking for seat belts on regular transit buses. Seat belts are used on both school and transit buses used to transport the


52
handicapped. Students are not allowed to stand on school buses according to federal safety regulations, but transit buses always allow "standees”. School bus drivers must undertake stricter certification programs than do public transportation drivers under Colorado state law.
Public Use of Student Transportation
The issues involved in public use of school buses are not generally as emotional as those involved in student use of public transit, in part due to the fact that school buses are uncomfortable for adults. In 1980 the United States had 391,000 school buses but only 54,000 transit buses. School buses carried 23,000,000 passenger trips per day while transit buses carried 15,000,000.(H) School buses are also found in far more locations than are transit buses, which serve primarily urbanized areas. This suggests to many that the school bus has been overlooked as a solution to many transportation problems in our society.
School buses are usually idle during day, night, holidays, school vacations, weekends and summer months. School buses are everywhere and are either publicly owned or contracted for by school districts, close to every home. Colorado is one state which can mobilize school buses by emergency declaration by the governor. While Colorado state laws allow use of school buses by elderly citizens, many of them object to the uncomfortable ride, seats and high narrow steps. The fact that these vehicles


53
provide inexpensive transportation may not overcome the objections of some elderly passengers.
Private owners of school buses have more complete control over how their buses are used when they are not in use for school children than public sector operators. The profit motive is an incentive for them to find other uses for their school buses. School districts, however, are not profit minded. Their sole concern is safe transportation for school children. They are usually unwilling to give control of buses to outside groups wishing to get greater use out of the school buses even if there are no time conflicts.
The lack of public transportation resources appears to be more critical in rural areas so there is a greater likelihood of public use of school buses. It is important to note, though, that school buses may be too large to be used efficiently in rural areas. This is particularly true in rural Colorado where densities are extremely low in many areas.
An issue which often arises is peak period conflicts in the use of vehicles. These could be dealt with by flexibility in hours both by school districts and by employers. Changes in school hours are likely to be resisted by parents but even more significantly by teachers and administrators.
If school bus utilization is assessed in terms of miles traveled, school buses really are not


54
underutilized. A school bus will only travel a limited number of miles. The number of years it takes to reach that limit may not be significant. More frequent and vigorous use could reduce significantly the life of the bus and necessitate purchasing new school buses more often. School buses cost from $30/000 to $50,000 with an average useful life of 100,000 miles. Transit buses cost $100,000 and up, but have an average useful life of about 300,000 miles traveled. (H)
As use of school buses for other than school transportation increases, as it is likely to do when the energy crisis returns, there should be a decrease in effective insurance rates for school buses in non-school use. Private school bus operators now have a national insurance plan which insures up to 10% of other-than-school-related trips at the same rate as for providing school service only.
Concern for safety regarding non-school use of school buses is partly a perceptual problem and partly a real one. The perceptual problem involves the concern that commercialization might undermine the integrity of the buses in terms of their ability to transport children safely to school. The real safety problem is that school buses were not designed for stop and start traffic, normal traffic speeds, quick acceleration and deceleration, tight turns or constant use. The overall safety of the bus might be affected by such use. The other concern is that


55
the public's perceptions of school buses could change if they are not usually carrying children, thus endangering the safety standards which evolved over the years.
Summary
A number of factors which may reduce the desirability and feasibility of coordinating student and general public transportation have been identified in this chapter. While legislative barriers may be removed by government, operational aspects of transportation services may be more difficult to alleviate.
The physical design of the school bus is one area of concern. The similarity in peak hours of ridership for school buses and public transit may greatly diminish opportunities to use vehicles in a coordinated way. The difference in operating costs as well as funding mechanisms may also play an important part in the determination of which types of coordination are practical.


56
CHAPTER V
ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS FOR COORDINATION/COOPERATION
The following matrix summarizes possible short range actions which may lead to the coordination of school district transportation with public transportation in a way that would promote efficiency in the operation of the transit system. A further analysis of these alternative actions is presented in the next section of this Chapter.
It is important to point out that these actions may lead, in time, to far more comprehensive coordination between school districts and governments not only in transportation matters but also in the way in which we socialize our children to enter the real world. For example, the students are now taught that they are a special group riding in a special vehicle, different from that which others ride, and that they ride in groups in the same age category. It is suggested that we may want our to teach our children that they are a part of the whole society, not just their own cohort from an early
age.


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Most Promising Alternatives Analysis The following actions were studied in greater detail since the potential benefits seemed most applicable to Colorado communities. The action numbers noted refer to the preceding tables.
Action No. 1 Tripper Bus Service
The transportation of pupils on public transit usually begins with an agreement or contract between the local school district and the public transit operator. In Colorado, the State Department of Education must approve any such contract. They would look at a contract carefully since there is no precedent for it in Colorado. Colorado law provides that not more than 60 percent of the cost of contracts with public transit may be reimbursed by the state.
Federal legislation forbids public transit operators that benefit from federal funding from excluding non-pupil patrons (i.e., the general public). However, as a practical matter, these users generally do not ride tripper buses because they prefer not to ride with a bus load of children. These buses may stop only at regular service stops, and all routes must be within the operator's regular route service. This may include stopping at schools only twice a day if this is noted in the published schedule.
School bus routes are oriented to schools and the vehicles used have a large (60-passenger) capacity. Some


64
routes also form an intricate pattern designed to save time and bus miles. A public route-oriented bus system cannot operate as efficiently as the school bus system, for this purpose. Additionally, if a school district simply chartered buses to pick up students, the costs would still be higher due to smaller vehicle capacity and higher labor and insurance costs of public bus systems.
The above analysis does point out that some Colorado students now riding school buses could ride public transit to school with little difficulty if changes in routes were made, particularly in cities such as Denver, Greeley and Ft. Collins. In effect, the federal government would then be assuming some costs of the district.
The Tripper Bus option could result in higher costs to the public transit system and/or the school district. An option open to school boards is to discontinue school bus service to junior and senior high school students who live in areas with adequate bus service. If the student transit market was there, the public transit system could expand to serve it and has in the case of Colorado Springs, but the savings to the community are very difficult to quantify because of increased costs to the transit system. The transit system is subsidized by federal grants and local funding.
Action No. 2: Shuttle Bus Service
Regular routes could provide all-day shuttle


65
service between schools as a secondary function. Regular routes designed with schools in mind could be used as a shuttle service between junior and senior high schools allowing students to attend classes at other schools. Changes in route times by the bus and/or school schedules by the district could result in more frequent service for the students and increased ridership for systems. Route deviations and modifications could also be used during the school day.
If the district wished to provide tokens, or passes to students for shuttle service, about 25 percent of the cost could be reimbursed by the State of Colorado, according to Colorado Revised Statutes 25-51-104. The cost to the public transit system for the route deviation would be based on mileage involved. No additional buses would be required for this service since it is anticipated that there would be sufficient capacity on the buses during the midday hours. There would be no violation of UMTA regulations if the route deviation and the times were published on the regular schedule.
The system could receive more in revenue than it spent on the route deviation, and may well attract more ridership as students become accustomed to the bus system. Action No. 3; Route Modifications and Expansions to Serve Schools
New and/or improved service could be provided by the Route Expansion and Modification for schools. The


66
increased service to schools should mean an increased student ridership. Parents and school staff would also benefit from the increased access. This would not require action on the part of the school board.
Savings for the school districts would be realized as some junior and senior high students will elect to use public transit instead of the school bus because it serves them at different times and for other trips such as to/from the Public Library and for transportation to after-school work and social trips. In addition, this service could set the stage for public transit service taking over at least a part of school service in the future.
The Denver School Board as well as other Colorado school boards, has the responsibility of determining the method of transportation for students. If 20% of student trips now made on yellow school buses were made on public transit, an estimated $439,000 annually could be saved by the school district in operating costs alone as shown in Table 6. This action would shift costs from a property to a sales tax since RTD farebox revenue pays only about 22% of operating expenditures, as shown in Table 7. In addition, RTD received in 1984 $48,631,000 in federal grants primarily used to fund capital expenditures, including vehicles. The overall savings to taxpayers in the community would occur only to the extent that buses now running partially full in some areas at peak times


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would be filled.
The impact on RTD would be a 3% increase in daily ridership. Average weekday ridership is about 133/000 according to RTD 1984 Facts and Figures.


68
TABLE 6
COMPARISON OF OPERATIONS COSTS FOR DAILY SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION
A (Present Method) B (Proposed Method) Denver School Dist. I RTD
Cost per student^ $1.23 .36
Number of Students(2) 4,400 4,400
Annual Cost^2) $974,160 $285,120
Potential State Reimbursements $321,688 $71,280
Total Costs to Denver Public Schools $652,688 $213,840
Potential Savings to School District $438,843
^ A. Based on operating cost per trip per student
reported to the state by Denver Public Schools.
B. Based on $16.00 monthly youth pass (44 trips per month)
Assumed 20% of 21,900 students who could use RTD bus service (students in Grades 7-12 living near actual or potential routes)
A. 4,400 students x 2 trips x 180 days x 1.23
B. 4,400 students x 2 trips x 180 days x .36
^ A. Estimated 33% of operating costs now reimbursed
B. Estimated 25% of public transportation costs which may be reimbursed from Public School Transportation Fund
Annual cost minus state reimbursement


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TABLE 7
1984 RTD BUDGET
BUDGET EXPENDITURES 1984
ADOPTED
1984
Systems Development, Transit Planning
and Administrative Transit Operations Capital TOTAL Reserve
$ 15,529,340 74,695,800 59,256,000 $149,481,140 $62,282,860
SOURCES OF FUNDING 1984 BUDGETS
1984
.6 of One Percent Sales Tax$74,555,000 Property Tax -0-
Transit Operating Revenue 19,500,000 Federal Grants 48,631,000
Proceeds From Sales Tax Revenue Bonds Investment Income 5,700,000
Other Income 300,000
TOTAL $148,936,000
250,000
Source: RTD 1984 Facts and Figures


70
Action No. 5: Consolidation of Elderly and Handicapped Service with School District Special Education Bus Service
This alternative involves school districts contracting with the public system to provide door-to-door service they now provides to physically, mentally and emotionally disabled students. Aides are required on the buses for some students.
As shown in Figure 1, some lift-equipped vehicles owned by school districts are available during the school year between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. It is important to note that this is a "typical" day. Some vehicles still must be available for use by disabled students according to federal and state laws when the rest of the class participates in activities away from school. These vehicles are then needed to carry disabled students unable to travel in regular school buses.
" The school district boundaries may not be congruent with those of the transit service area. This could result in difficulties with the use of contracts which serve all of the public interests.
Special education vehicles purchased with special education state capital reimbursement of 40 percent of cost may not be used for anyone other than those students for whom they are intended, according to the "Exceptional Children's Education Act".6 Most districts do take advantage of this state reimbursement.
The operation cost for both the public and


Number of Vehicles
r iyuro
I
Weld County School District 6 Lift-Equipped Vehicle Use By Hour
Greeley, Colorado
TIME OF DAY
NOTE : Lift-Equipped School Vehicles are Seldom Used Evenings or Saturdays SOURCE : Weld County School District 6


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District Special Education Department transit services is estimated to be about $15 per vehicle hour.^ While there are efficiencies in combining vehicles, dispatching, maintenance and administrative functions, there are social constraints on mixing adults and children as well as mixing the physically and mentally disabled. The needs for transportation during the same morning and afternoon peak-hours means there would be no reduction in the number of vehicles required, as shown in Figure 2. It is necessary to point out here, the overwhelming concerns of society for children with special needs. An impediment to consolidation would be the fears of parents of special education students about changes in the provision of transportation for their children.
Action No's. 6, 7, and 8: Non-Pupil Uses of School Buses These three alternatives require an assessment by the area human service organizations that transit needs exist in the community which can best be served by use of school buses.
Action No. 9: "Emergency Use of School Buses Agreement"
An "in place" agreement between school board and the transit system for the emergency use of school buses would speed mobility during emergencies and could save lives and confusion. There are few barriers to emergency use of school vehicles on any government level. Key personnel need to be designated and arrangements made for reimbursement to the district. This is one simple action


Number of Vehicles
Figure 2
The Bus Lift-Equipped Vehicle Use By Hour
i
SOURCE : City of Greeley


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that would provide an initial forum for policy makers to discuss further coordination efforts.
Action No. 10: An "Agreement" between City and School District for Sharing Lift-Equipped Vehicles
Most school districts own lift-equipped buses and mini-vans which are used throughout the school day to transport physically and emotionally disabled students to and from school. The peak-hours for this service are approximately the same for both the school and public transit systems. Another impediment is that state legislation for special education prevents non-special education use of vehicles that were purchased with 40 percent state reimbursement. School boards also may have policies allowing only special education students to use school district lift-equipped vehicles. Arrangements would need to be made for reimbursement between the two entities and compensation would need to be provided to school bus drivers since they are paid a lower wage than public transit system drivers. School buses often have a monitor along to assist with students while public system bus drivers assist disabled riders, if necessary.
According to UMTA regulations, the public system cannot allow the school district to use its vehicles during peak-hours when they are needed to provide regular service.
Many compromises and policy changes would be needed to implement Action 10.
A high percentage of ridership of E & H vehicles


75
is for medical appointments, elderly nutrition and recreational programs. Another large group of users are disabled college students in some cities who attend classes weekdays during the school year. Passengers are often turned away between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays due to high demand at those times on systems such as RTD's Handy Ride.
An alternative may be for those affected to arrange medical appointments, classes and recreational activities at times when vehicles are available such as evenings and Saturdays when there is a low demand for E &
H service.
The possibility exists for use of school vehicles by public systems midday, evenings, and Saturdays. A beginning would be a written agreement allowing each entity access to the other's vehicles for special times such as emergencies, larger holiday parties, meetings for disabled citizens and large community events. Such an agreement would include:
1. Arrangements for reimbursement/fare collection
2. Insurance rider arrangement by the school district to be paid by the public system
3. Bus driver compensation agreements.
Action No. 11: Emergency Agreement for Repairs, Maintenance Equipment, Facilities and Fuel
The ability to share resources which might be available in an emergency to either system should be a


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high priority action. UMTA regulations do allow shared resources in emergency situations, but reimbursement from one agency to another would be necessary. An agreement for this sharing should be simple and straightforward, setting forth the basic ground rules without going into great detail. An important aspect of the agreement would be to designate the key persons, by job title, who would implement the required sharing.
Again many barriers to coordination come down when an emergency arises. School Board and the transit system could agree on sharing resources in case of emergency or disaster. This requires a designated key person for each system and arrangements for reimbursement when the emergency is over.
Action No. 13; Shared Use of Maintenance Equipment
Equipment purchased for public transit by Urban Mass Transportation Administration funds must be used for Transit System vehicles according to federal regulations. Action No. 14: An "Agreement" for Common Instruction of Personnel
There seem to be good possibilities for cooperation in the area of training personnel. Both systems require much training due to federal and state regulations concerning safety. Much could be gained by sharing special knowledge, particularly if public transit drivers began carrying larger numbers of school district pupils. School bus drivers are well-trained in techniques


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for handling students. On the other hand, transit drivers are adept at handling the general public.
The school districts now spend significant amounts annually on training, including labor and material costs. Both systems need to train employees in the areas of first aid, CPR, and defensive driving.
There are benefits to be gained by both systems in sharing film rentals, instructors and travel time for drivers and mechanics. Public transit and the school boards may see this as a good place to begin real coordination between the systems. A possible impediment to implementation of this alternative is that UMTA may object to materials purchased with federal funds being used by school district personnel. Dollar savings may be small, but further discussions between the systems would be beneficial to both.
Alternatives Summary
The comprehensive list of alternative actions for school district/public transit consolidation, cooperation or coordination addresses issues that have been discussed by local decision makers and the public. Many of the alternative actions provide few tangible benefits for either the school district or public transit in the short term. Real benefits for the school district and public transit can be realized by school districts utilizing routes as a shuttle service between high schools possibly with minor route deviations. An estimated cost savings to


78
the school district would be anticipated. Ridership would be increased for some routes and the "transit habit" would be reinforced for high school students. There are also transit service benefits for staff and students in linking schools.
The overall expansion of the public transit to schools would increase general ridership of students and staff on buses. Innovative ways to use these expanded services would likely occur once they were established.
An "Agreement" between the public transit provider and a school district for sharing lift-equipped vehicles requires dealing with federal and state regulation. The operational costs for both systems are established to be about $15 per hour. The advantages of shared usage of equipment would accrue to public transit and school districts. In any case, the population which uses these vehicles would be better served with back-up plans.
Emergency use of school vehicles by transit could be very important, and an agreement in advance would save time in a crisis. Institutional barriers are few in a real crisis. An "Emergency Agreement" between the transit system and the school district for repairs, maintenance equipment facilities and fuel in case of fire, snowstorm, flood or other disaster, is recommended for almost any situation. This action could suggest other areas of cooperation and would provide security for the two systems in time of need.


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An "Agreement" for common instruction of personnel could be helpful and cost-effective for transportation. Although large cost savings would not be realized, there is a benefit to the community in training personnel in both types of service.
Although few of the alternative coordination actions presented here offer significant financial benefit to either the public transit system or to school districts, they do present opportunities for positive intergovernmental relations. As previously outlined, the actions present short-term opportunities for coordination between the two systems. Implementation of these actions depends upon policy decisions to be made by governments and school boards together, as well as independently.
Other actions may be considered by public transportation systems and school districts as long-term coordination
efforts.


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CHAPTER VI
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Opportunities and Constraints
The results of this study indicate conditions under which coordination of public and school transportation would reduce overall community costs and provide better services to the community. The barriers which must be overcome include legislation, regulation and institutional restrictions in addition to operational constraints. The regulatory and institutional barriers come in the form of federal and state laws as well as school board policies.
Federal laws and regulations restrict the ability of federally supported transit systems to operate school bus service. Students may not be carried on special school routes or on school buses which are not open to the general public. Route deviations for students must be limited in length and must be published as a part of a schedule. The regulations also state that a bus may only pick up and discharge students at a regular service stop. This may mean students cannot be brought to the school door during peak times and may restrict service for them. One of the reasons for such restrictions is that


81
there are conflicts with private operators of school bus services and another is the real concern that school transportation could, in effect, be subsidized by the federal government.
Transit systems are nearly all subsidized with both operating and capital funds. Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) funds may not be used to help a school bus system directly. For example, maintenance facilities and equipment may not be used for school vehicles even if there is capacity available for them unless UMTA is reimbursed for the equipment.
The potential for labor problems is created by Section 13 C of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964. Labor problems are likely to be encountered where: o a public transit operator assumes service formerly provided by a private contractor to a school district (private operators may suffer loss of business)
o service operated by a public transit operator is transferred to a school bus operator o a new service normally provided by public transit is provided by school buses.
Labor problems should not impede services if emergency conditions exist.
Colorado state laws and regulations present problems in the form of lower levels of funding for school transportation provided by public transportation and


82
restrictions on the use of school district-owned vehicles. Since very few school buses in Colorado are privately owned, the potential for use of school buses is greatly reduced. The use of publicly owned school buses is restricted to persons living within the school district and preference is given to those 65 years of age and older. These laws can and should be changed. Over the past few years several other states, such as California and Idaho, have loosened restrictions on the use of school buses.
Local school districts also have introduced barriers to coordination in Colorado. Most of these are based on concerns over the safety of students and vehicles. Most districts require that regular school bus drivers operate vehicles for all purposes. Colorado school districts prohibit the public from riding buses with students. Such laws and regulations can be changed if school boards and state legislators see the advantages of school bus use by others in terms of public support for schools or additional revenues.
The most important operational consideration in the coordination of school and public transit service is that both tend to have peak ridership during the same periods, particularly in the morning. In many locations this means that all available vehicles are in use at the same time. Other aspects of school bus operations which restrict their use in public service are:


83
o Since school buses are designed to accommodate children, most adults find them uncomfortable, o No fare collection facilities exist on school buses so modification may be necessary, o Necessary insurance may be too expensive to justify service in some cases.
The significant differences between the cost of school bus operations and that of public transit indicate that there are few situations in which it is cost effective in terms of the whole community to use public transit for school bus service.
These barriers do not eliminate the potential for achieving benefits from coordination of these two sectors. There are numerous examples of public use of school buses and public use of public transit now operating in the United States and throughout the world. The analyses in Chapters IV and V indicate that larger scale use of school buses in emergency situations is viable. In addition, coordination actions in maintenance and perhaps purchase of fuel, radios and other supplies may encourage coordination in operations in the long term.
Recommendations
There are several possible actions which appear to offer transportation coordination benefits to Colorado schools and communities. Implementation of some of these is restricted by legislation and regulation as shown in the alternatives analysis. The following changes in


84
federal and state legislation are recommended.
Lift restrictions on the use of UMTA funded capital equipment - UMTA contracts with transportation providers now restrict use of equipment 80% funded by UMTA to the provider. "Occasional use" is allowed by others in case of emergency, but regular use is prohibited unless UMTA funds are repaid. This procedure causes political difficulties with UMTA for the grantees who depend upon this source for much of their capital expenditures.
An example of the difficulties this policy has caused may be seen in the following example. UMTA funded 80% of the cost of a new bus garage, solar heated bus washer and vehicles for the City of Greeley transit system. City officials thought that one way to begin efforts at coordination between the school district transportation system and the public transit system would be to allow school buses to be washed, primarily in freezing weather, in the new bus washer located less than one mile from the school bus facility. School buses are presently washed by hand by the drivers. The transit system was willing, since the bus washer was not in use most of the time. When this possibility was broached with UMTA officials in the Region 8 office in Denver, Greeley transit system operators were told that "occasional use" meant in case of emergency and that UMTA would need to be repaid at least a portion of the funding it had provided for the garage and bus washer if the school buses were to


85
use the facility on that basis.
The benefits of such simple examples of cooperation between systems would be:
o a step toward coordination of the two systems, staff would meet in an informal way; o good will for the public transit system which means more ridership;
o benefits of cleaner buses with much less effort for the school system which cannot afford special equipment with its local tax base.
Lift the Colorado prohibition on public ridership of district owned school buses when they are engaged in school transportation - This sounds like a very sensible idea in urbanized areas where a public bus system is operating. However, in rural areas which are sparsely populated, school districts could have the option of deciding that policy themselves. Certainly there are constraints on such a policy - higher insurance costs for the school buses, perhaps a lessening of safety for school children. The benefits of such a change would be:
o potential for revenue for the school district o mobility for transportation disadvantaged taxpayers in the community
o preparation for future predicted fuel shortages. Loosen Colorado restrictions on the use of school district-owned vehicles at times when they are not in use for school transportation - Colorado now restricts use of


86
district-owned vehicles to groups of five or more district residents with preference given to those 65 years of age and older, when they are available. Some districts have more stringent restrictions on the use of vehicles. Dr. Gerald Elledge of Denver Public Schools mentioned that both the Colorado restriction and the district insistence on use of school bus drivers and limits on distance and times of use have prevented school bus use for conventions, transportation to sports events and several other proposed uses.
This is not to say that such school buses are never used. Greeley uses school buses for its "Bronco-Ride" and elderly citizens of Calhan, Colorado use the school bus for special recreational events. Benefits to school districts and communities of loosening restrictions include:
o revenue for school districts o good will in the community
o school buses could be used to "kick off" a public transit system especially in rural areas o school buses could be available to community
employers for various types of services - perhaps a way to keep them in a community.
Lift restrictions in the "Exceptional Children's Act" for Colorado preventing the use of lift-equipped vehicles purchased with 40% state funding for handicapped children - This restriction seems especially cruel to


87
elderly and disabled citizens, particularly in rural areas, who are confined to wheelchairs. Those specialized vehicles could provide mobility during the school day, weekends and summer for medical appointments, sheltered workshops and recreational centers. Human service providers could contract with the district for the use of these vehicles for nutrition programs, shopping trips and other transportation which would not be possible otherwise for those in wheelchairs.
In addition to the above recommendations to change federal, state and district laws and regulations to encourage coordination, there are some strategies for combined use of community transportation resources which could be implemented without changes.
Ensure that State Emergency Agreements are in place for the use of school buses - The State of Colorado provides for emergency use of school buses but agreements should be between public transit and school districts as well as coordinated through the State Office of Emergency Preparedness. Detailed implementation procedures including key person designation and location nights, weekends and summer vacations are necessary. In addition, insurance, labor, reimbursement, maintenance and other potential needs can be foreseen. These agreements can save time, lives and money for communities in the event of:
o weather emergencies


88
o accidents - chemical spills, radiation emissions o nuclear disaster o fuel shortage
School bus use for transportation of the elderly on a regular basis particularly in rural areas - This option is now used in a few communities, such as Calhan for occasional trips, but not on a regular basis. While school buses are not necessarily attractive for the elderly in terms of comfort, they do provide transportation at low cost where little or no other is available. Park County, for example, has a senior transportation program but there are not enough vehicles. The school systems in that county could, under state law, make those vehicles available during the school day when the greatest need exists for the county nutrition programs in Bailey, Fairplay and Lake George. The vehicles could be used in the summer for medical, recreational, and shopping trips to Denver and Colorado Springs.
Student Use of Public Transportation - The most promising coordination strategy involving the use of public transit to serve students is on regular transit routes which now have space available during the peak travel periods for students. School hours could be adjusted to take advantage of space available. School boards could face angry parents and students by discontinuing school bus service to at least some students


89
in grades 7-12. However, reduction in costs to the district could be significant. The financial benefits to the community as a whole are not as clear. Actual costs to the public transit system could be higher if new buses had to be bought to serve peak hour trips only.
(Presently almost 80% of capital costs are funded by UMTA grants.) School buses on the other hand are paid for completely by local funds.
The following benefits to the schools and communities may include:
o development of a "transit habit" by students
o potential increase in the number of routes and
frequency of service by the transit system o increased ridership and revenue for the transit system which may make it more efficient o more integration of generations and perhaps "understanding" by mixing ages on the public transit system
o overall cost and energy savings for the community where space is available on current routes.
These recommended changes will require public acceptance of the need for coordination between public and school transportation. Community conscious planners and educators will need to promote awareness of the benefits of cost savings improved service to Colorado taxpayers.
Suggested Research
The analysis introduced several subjects that are


90
deserving of further research, as noted below:
1. Willingness of the general public to ride school buses,
2. Potential for schools and employers to modify hours in order to gain benefits of coordinated transportation services,
3. Potential for the use of school buses in rural areas to carry the general public on school trips,
4. Costs of providing school transportation to students living relatively close to schools,
5. Benefits of coordinating the use of lift-equipped vehicles owned by school districts and transit systems,
6. Effects of "Transit Habit" formed by high school students on public transit ridership,
7. Transit bus safety vs. school bus safety for students.
8. Influence of public transportation ridership by students on the Denver court order for racial integration of schools.
Further research into these aspects of transportation coordination may lead the way to the recommended legislative changes. Public attitudes toward the provisions of Transportation are linked to the perceived costs, convenience and safety for all. Transportation coordination in Colorado can benefit both schools and communities.


91
LIST OF REFERENCES
1. Lane, George "21 Students Injured in School Bus Crash," in The Denver Post, November 10, 1984, p.4A
2. Smith, Herbert H. Coordination of Community Resources Through City/School Cooperation, Denver Urban Observatory (1980)
3. U.S. Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, The Coordination of Pupil and Non-Pupil Transportation, Washington, D.C. (March 1982)
4. Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Rules and Regulations Governing Operation of School Transportation Vehicles, Denver, Colorado (1983)
5. U.S. Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Savings on Bus Insurance in Wisconsin: Joint Vehicle Insurance Program Implementation, Washington, D.C. (March 1982)
6. Bluebird Bus Company Price List, Fort Valley, Georgia (January 1985)
7. Leigh, Scott & Cleary, Inc., Transit Development Program 1985-1989, Greeley, Colorado (1984)
8. Transportation Research Record 831, Rural Public Transportation Conference Proceedings, Integration of Public and School Transportation, Hohenlohe, Germany, Washington, D.C. (1981)
9. Telephone conversation with Joe Travis of Atlanta School District, Atlanta, Georgia, September 10,
1984. (404/659-3381)
10. Conversation with Paul Butler of the Minot Bus System, September 12, 1984 (701/455-8301)
11. U.S. Department of Transportation, School Bus Use for Non-School Transportation, Consortium for Technology Initiatives, Washington, D.C. (September 1980)
12. U.S. Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Transportation Energy Contingency Planning, Washington, D.C. (August 1982)
13. "When Public Interests Collide" Metropolitan (November-December 1984)
14. Branscombe, Art "Board of Education Member to


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Recommend Seatbelts for Buses" in The Denver Post, November 10, 1984, p. 4A


APPENDIX


RESOLUTION 3
/
1984
A RESOLUTION STATING THE CITY OF GREELEY'S POSITION REGARDING A CONSOLIDATION OF THE CITY OF GREELEY AND SCHOOL DISTRICT 6 TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
WHEREAS, the City of Greeley has sought and received federal funds levelop a city-wide bus system; and
WHEREAS, with those funds, the City has developed an outstanding transportation system; and
WHEREAS, School District 6 presently runs a bus system for the ents that overlaps the City of Greeley's bus service area; and
WHEREAS, the City bus system can provide bus service for those ents; and
WHEREAS, the City of Greeley would like to promote their system to ide service to all segments of the community;
NOW, THEREFORE,. BE IT RESOLVED that the Greeley City Council is y and willing to participate with School District 5 to whatever extent ible to provide such service.
PASSED AND ADOPTED, SIGNED AND APPROVED THIS 7th DAY OF iruarv , 1984.
ST: CITY OF GREELEY, COLORADO


PUBLIC SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION ACT REIMBURSEMENT CLAIM
MUST BE FILED on or before August 15, 1934 - for period of July 1, 1983 ~ ~ through June 30,198^
Melvin L. Foxhoven 7-17-84
(Hama of parson preparing report) (Data)
352-1543_____________ Weld______________________________ six________________________
(Telephone) (County) (School District Humber)
Please estimate the average number of pupils transported daily to and from public school at public expense . . . .
6,000
1. Total current operating expenditures for pupil transportation............................ . . . .
S 782,497
la. Current operating expenditures for summer migrant education pupil transportation only ...................
S None
2. Dollar amount district paid to independent contractor(s) for pupil transportation
3. Multiply line 2 by 10 percent (.10)........................$
4. Subtract line 3 from line 1................................$ 782,497
$____ None
0
5.
6.
7.
8.
Mileage traveled for transporting migrant education pup i 1 s from home to school, school to school, and school to home when said pupils are regularly enrolled in a migrant education program provided by the school district with state and federal migrant education funds during July and August 1983 and June, 1984 ............
Mileage traveled for transporting special education pupils on 1v from home to school, school to school, and school to nome .......................................
Mileage traveled for transporting vocational education pupils on 1y from attendance center to attendance center
Mileage traveled for regular pupil transportation . .
9. TOTAL mileage traveled by district for all pupil
transportation (Add lines 5, 6, 7, and 8)................... 402,276_________
10. Oivide line 4 by line 9 (Average cost per mile)
(5/4 round from 5 places to 4 places).......................$ l .9 4 5 2
11. Multiply line 6 by line 10 (Special education pupil
transportation entitlement) .............................. S 242,753.18
CCS • CAftU FORM CCiifWNCS REQUIRED
FCfFMMi r ,c-an ~
fmt Scncol finance j- ~ icoon/Ai ^f—iigh Aug.1585
KNW
Ik


2. Multiply line 6 by forty cants ($ .40)..........................$ 49,918.40
3. Subtract line 12 from line 11 (Special education pupil
transportat ion excess cost)....................................$ 192,834.78
I*. Subtract line 13 from line 4 (Special education pupil
transportation excess cost deduction)...........................$ 589,662.22
3. Multiply line 7 by line 10 (Vocational education pupil
transportat ion center to center expenditures)............... $ 13,653.36
>. Multiply line 7 by forty cents ($ .40)...........................$ 2,807.60
Subtract line 16 from line 15 (Vocational Education Act reimbursable transportation expenditures)............................
Percentage of expenditures to be reimbursed by Colorado Vocational Act (percentage from October 1983 worksheet issued by SBCCOE) . . .
S 10,845.76 ^ dr&n coE
^ 33.67 %
Multiply line 17 by line 13.......................................$_____3,651.77
Subtract line 19 from line 14 (Net current operating
expenditures for pupil transportation) .......................... $ 586,010.45
Multiply line 9 by forty cents (S .40) (Mileage reimbursement) $ 160,910.40
Subtract line 21 from line 20.....................................$ 425,100.05
Multiply line 22 by twenty-five percent (.25) (Excess cost
re imbursement) . . $ 106,275.01
Add line 21 and line 23 (Mileage reimbursement plus excess
cost reimbursement)...............................................$ 267,185.41
Multiply line 20 by ninety percent (.90) (Maximum
reimoursement) .................................................. $ 527,409.41
Enter SMALLER of 1 ine 24 or 1 ine 25........................... $ 267,185.41
Pupil days that the school district paid board in lieu of transportation multiplied by one dollar ($1.00)..........
S None
Add line 26 and line 27 (Pupil transportation reimbursement
entitlement) ................................................... $ 267,185.41
We certify to the best of our knowledge that the data contained in this retort are accurate and that the pupil transportation program has been operated in compliance with the male3 of the State Soard of Education.
(Signature of authorized representative)
n COE-40 ised 3/34


Full Text

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ANSPORT ATION COORDINATION IN COLORADO . CAN BENEFIT SCHOOLS ARCHITECTURE & . ... AURAR/A LIBRARY 'AND COMMUNITIES AURARIA LIBRARY . I U18701 9735581 JEANNE J. ERICKSON . 1985 .

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COORDINATION IN COLORADO CAN BENEFIT SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES by Jeanne Jarvis Erickson / B.A., Michigan State University, 1962 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate Progr4m of Planning and Community Development of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Planning and Community Development May, 1985 Date Due .. -....-.. -

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Erickson, Jeanne Jarvis (Master of Planning and Community Development) Transportation Coordination in Colorado can Benefit Schools and Communities: Thesis directed by Professor Herbert H. Smith A search of existing literature has revealed that little has been written regarding School District/Public Transportation Coordination. The literature search revealed some coordination in states other than Colorado particularly in large cities on both coasts. Drawing on the most current and relevant available literature information, this study concentrates on the potential School District/Public Transportation Coordination in the State of Colorado. The study first evaluates fundamental school district/public transportation coordination issues including contrasting size of systems, operating costs, capital costs, problems relating to federal funding, peak hour congruency and school bus constraints. An analysis is presented of coordination I objectives, problems and techniques. This analysis is presented in light of benefits to the school districts as well as the benefits to public transportation and constraints on the coordination of student and public transportation. Economic implications to both school districts and transit are evaluated considering users,

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non-users, and the public interest. Also, legal and political aspects of coordination are addressed. Following a selected review of current school district/public transportation coordination practices throughout the United States, a range of coordination alternatives are presented that are focused on Colorado. Finally, a number of policies, procedures and legislative changes are suggested for school district/public transportation coordination and/or consolidation which will allow for implementation in Colorado both in urban and rural settings. The analysis concludes with a brief list 'of subjects deserving of further detailed research.

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DEDICATION This is dedicated to my husband, David and my children, Jennifer and Russell, for their understanding and encouragement through the work on this thesis.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to acknowledge Robert E. Leigh and Joseph A. Hart of Leigh, Scott & Cleary, Inc. for their insights on transportation planning. In addition, I would like to thank Herbert H. Smith for his guidance in the research and preparation of this thesis. Numerous discussions over the past few years with Professor Smith have given me an appreciation and understanding of the role of politics in planning.

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CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I. INTRODUCTION • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . • • • • • 1 The Consolidation/Coordination Problem ••••••• 1 Consolidation of the Two Systems ••••••••••••• 2 Coordination and Cooperation Between the Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Study Approach • • • • • • • . • • • • • • • . • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Opportunity .................................. _ 6 II. THE SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT • • • . • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 7 Overview ........•...•....••.•...•............ 7 The Use of School Buses to Transport Pupils •• 9 Organizational Structure ••••••••••••••••• 10 Operational Aspects •••••••••••••••••.•••• 16 The Use of Public Transit to Transport Pupils.21 Legislative Aspect s •••••••••••••••.•••••• 23 Operational Aspects •••••••••••••••••••••• 24 Surnrnary • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 27 III. CURRENT SCHOOL/PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Coordination Prqgrams ••••.••••••••••••••.••• 28 Existing Colorado Coordination •••••••••••••• 28 Pupil Use of Public Transportation •••••••••• 35

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CHAPTER PAGE Non-Pupil Use of School Buses ••••••••••••••• 38 Response to Emergency Conditions ••••••••••.• 43 Summary . . . . . . • . . . . • • • . . • . . • . . . • . . • • • • . . • . • • • 46 IV. ISSUES IN COORDINATING PUPIL AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 4 7 Students Use of Public Transportation ••••••• 47 Public Use of Student Transportation •••••••• 52 SullUilary • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . • • 55 V. ALTERNATIVE AC'riONS FOR COORDINATION/ COOPERA.TION •••.•••••••••••.••••••••••.•••••• 56 Pupil Use of Public Transit ••••••••••••••••• 57 Non-Pupil Use of School Buses ••••••••••••••• 59 Most Promising Alternatives Analysis •••••••• 63 Alternatives Summary • • • • • • • • • • . • • • • • • . . • • • • • 77 VI. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS •••••••••••••••• 80 Opportunities and Constraints •.••••••••••••• 80 Recommendations • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • . • 83 Suggested Research •••••.•••••••.••••••.••.•• 89 LIST OF REFERENCES • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 91 APPENDIX • . • • • • • • • • • . • • • • . • • • . • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 93

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TABLES TABLE PAGE 1. School and Transit Bus Operating Costs Assumptions and Calculations •••...•••••••••• 11 2. School District I Supplemental Services Contracted School Year 1983-1984 •••••••••••• 30 3. Demographic Comparison of Transit Riders to Population in Service Area of Colorado Springs Transit ••••.•.•.••••••••••• 33 4. Pupil Use of Public Transit 57-58 5. Non-Pupil Use of School Buses ••••.•••••••.•. 59-62 6. Comparison of Operations Costs for Daily School Transportation •••••••.•..•.•••• 68 7. 1984 RTD Budget ..••.....•...................•.. 69

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FIGURES , FIGURE 1. Weld County School District 6 Lift-Equipped Vehicle Use By Hour ••••••••••••••••••••.•••• 71 2. The Bus Lift-Equipped Vehicle Use By Hour •••••• 73

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The Consolidation/Coordination Problem An issue long discussed in some Colorado communities is whether there are significant inefficiencies resulting from the _fact that there are two separate and distinct public bus systems operating in the same area --one, the public transportation system, and the other, the bus system operated by the school district. There is certainly an "appearance" of inefficiency in that the buses operated by the two systems often travel the same general corridors, and physically, the buses have many similarities. The purpose of this study is to examine in greater detail the common operations of the two systems and to investigate several alternative actions that would improve overall public and student transportation services and lower the total cost of providing those services. In simple terms, it is believed that efficiencies and/or cost savings could be obtained by either consolidating the two systems into only one operation, greater coordination of the facilities and operations of the two systems, or greater cooperation between the two

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2 systems. In theory, any of these three actions would result in the following: 1. More efficient use of buses 2. Community tax savings 3. Improved service for students 4. Improved service for the public These three actions of consolidation, coordination and cooperation are discussed in greater detail in the following sections. Consolidation of the Systems In this action, it is presumed that the public bus system would provide all transportation of school children in the community. Some constraints which make consolidation difficult in communities are: 1. Contrasting Size of the Systems School district boundaries usually do not coincide with a public transportation service area. 2. Operating Costs -The school district could contract with the public transportation system to provide charter service but operating costs would be higher than present school district operating costs due to higher wage rates and insurance premiums. 3. Capital Costs -Capital costs for public transportation systems have been funded at 80% by Urban Mass Transportation Administration in the past,

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3 and may be in the future. School district capital costs are paid by local taxes. 4. Problems Relatin g to Federal Funding -The cost of transporting pupils on school buses is financed by state and local taxes and is not federally funded. A reduced "youth" fare is usually offered on regular routes. Where the subsidized portion of the fare is not funded by the City and where the fare charged to the school district does not cover the actual cost of operation, it appears that federal funding is being used to subsidize student This could endanger federal capital and operating cost subsidies for the public transportation system. 5. Bus Route Conflicts -Generally, provision of public transportation on other than regular routes of buses will increase the cost to the school district. Reimbursement to the school district by the state for transportation costs will be less than is currently received if the system carries the students. 6. School Bus Physical Constraints -School buses are not generally used in public transit because they have a less comfortable ride, higher steps, smaller seats and narrower aisles. They do not have fare boxes and many amenities desired by public transit system patrons. Coordination and Cooperation Between t h e Systems The disadvantages of consolidation of the two

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4 systems cited above, does not rule out some cost savings and service improvements which may be realized by coordination and cooperation between the systems. Various actions that can be taken are considered to be very feasible and should result in increased efficiency or cost savings. In general, school buses may be used to provide other services during periods in which they would otherwise sit idle. Transit service may be used in place of school bus routes, thereby reducing the size of the school bus fleet. The purpose of this study is to examine these and other ways in which pupil and non-pupil transportation services can be made more effective and efficient. To provide a measure of balance in weighing the benefits of greater coordination and cooperation between the public and school bus system, it should be pointed out that there are many problems associated with them as well. In many ways, school transportation and general public transit are not complementary. Peak-hours for pupil travel and those of the general public occur at about the same times during the day. Without alteration of travel patterns of either students or the public, there may be few prospects for coordination. Other difficulties are the understandable concern of the school district for safety and control of student transportation. Only one student has been killed on a school bus in the last 13 years in Colorado. (l)

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5 Study Approach A computer search of TRIS and ERIC databases found very little information written on this subject. Most of the existing information concerns use of school buses for non-pupil transportation. Drawing on t h e most current and relevant available literature and on input from school and public transportation providers, this study concentrates on realistic potential coordination strategies. This study first evaluates the pupil transportation environment including the legislative and operational aspects of coordination. Secondly, the issues including organizational structures affecting both transportation systems are examined. Following a review of coordination strategies throughout the country an analysis is presented of realistic short-term alternative actions for pupil use of public transit as well as for non-pupil use of school buses in a matrix format. This analysis is presented in the form of possible applications to Colorado with advantages and disadvantages of each potential action. Economic and legal implications are also addressed. Finally, a number of policies and procedures are suggested that will allow for flexible implementation in Colorado, both in rural and urban areas. The analysis concludes with a brief list of subjects deserving of further detailed research.

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6 Opportunity In spite of the potential problems associated with greater coordination or cooperation between the public bus system and the school bus system, there are many potential benefits as well. The purpose of this study is to explore, in considerable detail, alternative courses of action that might be taken and make appropriate recommendations. The matrix in Chapter V briefly analyzes the many possible actions. Then, the most promising of these are considered in greater detail. As with any change in policy, an educational period will be necessary before there will be comfortable acceptance among decision makers. It will be the responsibility of community planners, educators and transportation professionals to provide the educational tools necessary to gain public acceptance of coordination in the provision of transportation services to all segments of the population.

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7 CHAPTER II THE SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT Overview Examining the coordination of school district and public transportation is a matter of seeking the wisest possible use of community resources. While school districts and city and county government historically have carefully and deliberately been kept separate, public transportation and school expenditures come from the same source --the tax-paying public. A discussion of the expenditures of funds for facilities and services of either city or county government or the schools is a discussion of community resources, not just an undertaking of the government or the school district.(2) Since the costs of both school transportation and public transportation are rising steadily, primarily due to higher wages, and the resources, particularly federal funding, supporting them are shrinking there seem to be good reasons to attempt coordination in order to reduce costs and/or increase service. School Districts have expanded transportation services and thus capital and operating expenditures due to: o increased transportation demands by the parents

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of school children resulting in reduced eligibility requirements; 8 o school closings which have resulted in more students living far from the school they attend; o extension of education to handicapped children within the regular school setting; o court ordered busing required to achieve racial balance in school districts; (3) At the same time, public transportation systems are in need of increasing ridership and revenues in order to survive. The shared use of transportation facilities, at least in theory appears to make sense. A public school system itself, in Colorado is not required by law to provide transportation for its students. According to Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS)25-Sl-102, school officials may .provide for the transportation of pupils to and from school however, in the judgment of the school board, transportation is advisable. Thus a school district may either run a transportation system operation themselves, contract out for such services to a private company or pay transit or paratransit fares for those pupils in the district that need them. Difficulties in coordinating transportation may be seen as legislative and operational. The legislative barriers include school board policies, and state and

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9 federal laws and regulations. The operational difficulties include vehicle type, peak hour congruency, wage differentials and safety . Some coordination already exists in Colorado, in Colorado Springs, Boulder and Denver. This coordination is documented and examined in Chapter III, in order to determine what steps have been taken. Changes need to be made in the legislative area and it is hoped this study can focus attention on those issues. The Use of School Buses to Transport Pupils School district transportation programs often operate very efficiently, optimally utilizing buses to serve the needs of the schools. School bus routing is very dynamic, changing each school year depending on where the children live and also changing daily depending on conditions such as weather, field trips, shuttles and so forth. Table 1 shows typical operating costs for school buses and public transit buses in Colorado. The operating cost of school bus service is estimated to be about $15.00 per hour including labor, maintenance, fuel, etc. Transit system operating costs are estimated on the average to be about $20.00 per vehicle-hour due to higher labor, insurance and other fixed costs. School bus operations are subject to several federal and state regulations and to the local school board policy. These legislative regulations, as well as

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particular operational aspects of the school bus transportation system, represent constraints on the ability to consolidate transit service. Organizational Structure 10 The responsibility for pupil transportation lies primarily with the states. Federal Safety Standard Number 17 specifies that a single state agency is to have primary responsibility for the administration of pupil transportation. In Colorado, the State of Education ensures that compliance with and knowledge about the legislation and regulations concerning pupil transportation are disseminated to the school districts. In addition, it allocates the State funding to school boards to reimburse a part of the cost of transporting pupils to and from school. Pupils in Colorado are transported by districtowned school bus, primarily •.. The school board operates or contracts a pupil transportation service which utilizes the traditional yellow school bus or other vehicle marked "school bus". Only 3% of the school buses in Colorado are privately owned. A few students, for whom the districts provide transportation, use public transit in Denver and Colorado Springs. A larger number of pupils use public transit who are not eligible for school-provided transportation due to distance requirements set by school boards, according to Dr. Gerald Elledge, Director of Transportation for Denver Public Schools.

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TABLE 1 SCHOOL BUS OPERATING COSTS ASSUMPTIONS AND CALCULATIONS 1984 Approximate Operating Costs Item 1. Labor 2. Overhead 3. Maintenance 4. Fuel, oil, tires, etc. Cost $5.30/Hour $0.25/Mile $0.13/Mile $0.51/Mile 11 Based on an average in-town speed of about 10 miles per hour, total vehicle operating costs per hour is calculated as shown below: $ 5 • 3 0 /H r • + ( $ • 2 5 + 0 • 13 + 0 • 51/Mi. ) l 0 Mi. /H r • = $14.20/Hour Use approximate $15.00/Hr. Source: Weld County School District No. 6 and Leigh, Scott & Cleary, Inc. Item 1. Labor TRANSIT BUS OPERATING COSTS ASSUMPTIONS AND CALCULATIONS 1984 Approximate Operating Costs 2. Overhead Cost $8.00/Hour $0.40/Mile $0.23/Mile $0.54/Mile 3. Maintenance 4. Fuel, oil, tires, etc. Based on an average in-town speed of about 10 miles per hour, total vehicle operating costs per hour is calculated as shown below: $8.00/Hr. + $0.40 + 0.23 + 0.54/Mi.) 10 Mi/Hr. = $19.70/Hr. Use approximate $20.00/Hr. Source: Colorado State Department of Highways, Transit Section

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12 The legislative and operational aspects of school transportation have become ever more complex over the years. The following federal and state laws and policies, as well as the operational considerations for school transportation, illustrate graphically the environment in which coordination must take place. Federal Legislation and Regulations United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Highway Safety Standard No. 17 establishes minimum requirements for pupil transportation safety with which all state laws must comply. Specifically, the pertinent requirements regulate the identification, specifications, operations, and maintenance of school buses. This standard defines Type I School Buses as motor vehicles used to carry more than 16 pupils to and from school. Included in this definition are vehicles that at any one time exclusively carry pupils and/or school personnel; specifically excluded are common carriers. Type II School Buses are defined as motor vehicles used to carry 16 or fewer pupils to and from school. Excluded from this definition are private autos. Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires that all Type I school buses: 1. be identified with the words "School Bus" printed on the front and rear of the vehicle with letters at least eight inches high; 2. be painted the national school bus glossy yellow color; 3. be equipped with an eight-light warning signal

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13 systems; 4. be equipped with a system of mirrors providing the seated driver a view of the roadway on either side of the bus and immediately in front of the front bumper; and 5. be equipped with stop arms at the option of the State. In cases where Type I school buses are operated by a publicly or privately-owned transit system primarily for public transportation but also for pupil transportation, such vehicles: 1. Need not be painted yellow and black; 2. must be equipped with temporary "School Bus" signs while transporting pupils to and from school; and 3. need not be equipped with a warning signal system if the vehicle is used only in places where such a system is prohibited. Type I school buses that are permanently converted for other than school transportation uses must be painted in a color other than school bus yellow. While Type I school buses are used for non-pupil transportation, the words "School Bus" must be concealed or removed and the system warning signals deactivated. Each state have comparable minimum requirements for Type II vehicles. Federal Safety Standard No. 17 also regulates seating specifications on all school buses requiring all seats to be permanent, be of a minimum size, and have a minimum spacing between .seats. This standard also requires routing to be coordinated to preclude "standees" during vehicle operation. Finally, Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires school buses to undergo a state inspection twice a year, and pre-trip inspection by the

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14 driver. State Legislation and Regulations The State Department of Education carries out the provisions of Colorado Law with respect to school bus transportation. Colorado statutes are specific about who may use school buses, standards for buses and drivers, licensing and school bus route standards. Buses must stop at railroad crossings. There are detailed regulations with respect to passing school buses on the highway, contracts for transportation insurance and registration of school buses. The following laws govern use of school buses for school districts which receive reimbursement by the Colorado Public School Transportation Fund: Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) 22-51-102. Definitions -As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires: 1. "Current operating expenditures for pupil transportation" means expenditures for providing pupil transportation, exclusive of purchase or lease of pupil transportation vehicles or other capital outlays. The term includes expenditures for the following: Motor fuel and oil; maintenance and repair of vehicles, equipment, and facilities; costs of employment for drivers while employed in pupil transportation; cost of employment paid specifically for providing transportation supervision and support services; insurance; contracted services; and reimbursement to pupils who utilize public transportation services. The term does not include amounts spent for public transportation for special education and vocational education programs for which the school district is otherwise entitled to receive state reimbursement. 2. "Entitlement period" means the 12-month period ending June 30 next preceding application for and determination of a reimbursement entitlement. 3. "Pupil transportation" means the transportation of

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15 pupils regularly enrolled in public schools through grade 12 to and from their places of residence and the public schools in which enrolled and to and from one school of attendance and another in vehicles owned or rented and operated by a school district or under contract with a school district. 4. "Reimbursement entitlement" means the amount of reimbursement to which a school district is entitled under the provisions of section 22-51-104. 22-51-104. Methods of Determining Reimbursement Entitlement: 1. For financial aid in providing pupil transportation, for entitlement periods ending on June 30, 1980, and thereafter, each school district shall have a reimbursement entitlement, to be determined as follows: (a) Forty cents for each mile actually travelled by vehicles operated by or for the school district in providing pupils transportation during the entitlement period; (b) Twenty-five percent of any amount by which the school district's current operating expenditures for public transportation during the entitlement period exceeded the school district's reimbursement entitlement under the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection 1; and (c) Not more than 60 percent of the costs of contracts entered into pursuant to section 22-32-110(1) (w), for the purpose of conserving fuel of reducing operating or capital expenditures, or both, for pupil transportation under public transportation programs which comply with the code of federal regulations, Tile 49, parts 390 to 397, or successor regulations thereto. Reimbursement entitlements under this paragraph (c) shall not be greater than those the school district would otherwise receive, if it operated its own vehicles or contracted for the exclusive transportation of pupils. 2. In no event shall the reimbursement entitlement of any school district under the provisions of subsection 1 of this section for any entitlement period exceed 90 percent of the total amount expended by the school district during said entitlement period for current operating expenditures for pupil transportation. 22-32-128. Use of School Buses by Residents of District -At times to be specified by the board, motor vehicles used for the transportation of pupils pursuant to the provisions of section 22-23-113 shall be available to groups of five or more residents of the district who are 65 years of age or older for use within or without the district. The board education of each school district of the state shall adopt policies regarding the reasonable

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16 use of such vehicles by groups of persons with special consideration being given those residents who are 65 years of age or older. Such motor vehicles shall be covered by an insurance policy similar to, with limits not less than, the insurance coverage which is in effect while said motor vehicles are used for the transportation of pupils. To the extent that such policies provide for the reimbursement to the school district of all the expenses for the operation of such motor vehicles as determined by the school district auditor, no such reimbursement shall constitute compensation, and it shall not subject the school district to the provisions of article 10 or 11 of title 40, C.R.S. The miles travelled and the costs expended under this article shall not be allowable for the computation of benefits accruing to a school district under the provisions of article 51 of this title. School Districts in Colorado as noted above are reimbursed at a rate for use of public transportation or other contracted services for pupils than if they were to provide such services themselves. This seems to discourage such use by districts since approximately 30 percent of operating costs statewide are reimbursed with state appropriations. However, capital expenditures for vehicles and facilities are not reimbursed by the state with the exception of some special education vehicles. Savings could be realized in the reduction of capital costs for school transportation if it could be provided by public transportation systems. Operational Aspects The 66 passenger school bus (3 to a seat) is by far the most common vehicle for school transportation. About 15 percent of the Colorado School Buses use Type II smaller buses, many of which are wheelchair lift-equipped. The average life of a Colorado vehicle is between ten and twelve years or 100,000 to 120,000 miles

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of service according to the Colorado Department of Education. This is about average nationally. ( 3 ) 17 School bus fleets are fully utilized for home to school transportation only on school days for the two hours before school opens and the two hours after school closes. About twenty percent of most school bus fleets are used during midday hours (i.e., 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) for kindergarten and special education pupils. A few buses are in service after school or during midday hours for transportation of students to and from athletic events or vocational programs and field irips. Both public and private school bus operators contract with wholesale fuel distributors to supply gasoline and diesel fuel to operate their fleets and sustain a reserve supply. During an emergency, school bus operators receive priority consideration for fuel needs. Diesel fuel requirements are guided under United States Department of Energy (USDOE) Special Rule No. 9, under which gasoline resources are set aside by most states for both public and pupil transportation. The primary objectives of routing school buses are to minimize both travel time and vehicle miles traveled while accommodating the demand with a minimum number of vehicles. This process may be directly impacted by Colorado legislation regulating school bus routes and route standards or indirectly by the Colorado state law that allocates funding by the number of miles travelled.

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18 Institutional factors affecting school bus routing are inherent in local policies regulating safety standards, school schedules, co-mingling of younger and older pupils, and the transportation budget. Other practical constraints include the location of students to be transported, the size (and capacity) of the available school bus fleet and the characteristics and terrain of the service area. School bus drivers are, in general, part-timers, homemakers, college students, and other persons with large blocks of available time. In rural areas, the bulk of the drivers are from farm and ranch families. Applicants are carefully screened for driving and criminal records. Colorado has established standards for school bus drivers, most of which focus on licensing requirements. Colorado also requires that drivers be provided with a pre-service training program. Those school bus drivers who are hired full-time usually divide their duties between driving and maintenance (either as school custodians or garage mechanics). In Colorado, only Denver Public School bus drivers are unionized. Wages vary from minimum wage to that equal to the wage earned by public transit operators. Drivers in rural areas start at about $4.00 per hour, and work a 16-20 hour week. Wages are higher in Denver, from $8.34-$9.33 hourly, according to the Denver Public Schools published "Wages by Position" pamphlet. Driver's wages represent

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19 between 25% and 30% of the total school transportation budget in Colorado, as in other states. ( 3 ) The provision of vehicle maintenance is impacted by legislative and institutional factors. Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires that all states establish preventive maintenance programs. Vehicle ownership, the pupil transportation budget and available facilities may often determine who performs maintenance -the school district itself, its contractor, or a local garage. Maintenance is generally the key to successful school bus operations. Preventive maintenan6e not only saves money in the long run, but enhances system reliability and pupil safety. Both public and private operators send chief mechanics to receive appropriate schooling when new equipment is introduced into the industry. Nationwide maintenance (including parts and labor) averages between 25 and 20 percent of the total school transportation budget. ( 3 ) Federal Safety Standard No. 17 requires two school bus inspections per year. Colorado includes school bus inspections in its legislation. In Colorado it is the responsibility of the State Department of Education to monitor inspectors hired by the school district. General inspection procedures include the removal of wheels and checking of individual bus maintenance and service records. Colorado requires annual formal bus fleet indepth inspection plus informal spot checks with no advance

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20 notice. Bus drivers also are required to perform pre-trip inspections of lights, brakes, tires, seats, warning system, emergency door, etc. (4) Liability insurance for pupil transportation services is purchased at state-mandated levels in Colorado. The premiums issued on pupil transportation services using school buses usually cover home-to-school and return trips and extra curricular trips. Insurance rates for services using school buses exclusively for pupil transportation are much lower than for general transit. This is because: 1. pupil transportation operations must meet rigid federal and state safety regulations resulting in good school bus safety records; 2. damage claims involving children do not cause loss of income; and 3. the type of service provided (i.e., limited hours of service, limited to specific routes) results in fewer losses paid out on school bus pol1c1es. Insurance costs generally represent between 3 and 4 percent of the total pupil transportation budget. The current purchase cost of a 66-passenger school bus is about $35,000, without special equipment such as wheelchair lifts. The cost of smaller buses ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the handicapped accessibility equipment installed. The larger school buses (72 passenger and up) cost.about $50,000. ( 6 ) The cost of transporting pupils on school buses is financed through state and local taxes and is not federally funded in any way. State funding is the

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21 responsibility of the Department of Education. Colorado allocates funding using a flat grant with the local entitlement based on mileage. The balance, including capital costs and operations expenditures, is funded by the local school tax base. The Use of Publi c Transit to Transport Pupils The primary alternative to operating or contracting school bus service to transport pupils is to utilize the existing public transit service. Some school districts are transporting pupils on public transit instead of, or in addition to, school buses, primarily because it is advantageous to those particular districts in terms of both cost and service efficiency. The purpose in examining this segment of the pupil transportation industry is to identify the mechanisms of, and constraints upon, such use of public transit. The legislative and operational background is reviewed in the following sections. Federal Legislation and Regulations, Legislative Aspects Title 49, Part 605 of the Code of Federal Regulations prescribes policies and procedures relating to the provision of pupil transportation on public transit. It defines the following: 1. School Bus Operations -the transportation by bus exclusively for school students, personnel, and equipment in Type I and Type II school vehicles. 2. Tripper Service -regularly scheduled mass transportation service which is open to the public, and which is designed or modified to accommodate the needs of school students and personnel, using various fare collections or subsidy systems. Buses used in

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22 tripper service must be clearly marked as open to the public and may not carry designations such as "school bus" or "school special''. These buses may stop only at an operator's regular service stop. All routes traveled by tripper buses must be within the operator's regular route service. 3. Incidental Charter Bus Operations -the transportation of school students, personnel, and equipment in charter bus operations during off-peak hours. Such operations may not interfere with regularly scheduled service to the public. The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, Section 3g provides that a public transit operator benefiting from Federal assistance may not engage in school bus operations in competition with private school bus operators unless: 1) the-private operators are incapable of providing adequate service; or 2) the public transit operator has already been delegated the responsibility of pupil transportation. The public transit operator is permitted to provide tripper service and incidental charter bus operations. Federal regulations also do not allow the reservation of seats on public transit vehicles. While there is "priority seating" for the elderly and handicapped on public transit vehicles, giving up one's seat for this reason is requested and not required. Section 13c of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended states that no employee will lose his/her job, make less money or work fewer hours as a result of federal assistance. This provision has been interpreted by UMTA and Department of Labor to apply only to employees falling within UMTA's definition of "mass

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23 transportation ... This includes employees of public transit as well as employees of school bus operators. Section 3e, of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended states that no private mass transportation company will lose money as a direct result of federal assistance. This includes private transit operators and school bus operators. An important result of this regulation, although well intended, is to thwart new forms of transportation provision such as students using school buses under contract switching to public if the private contractor to the district loses money or goes out of business as a result. State Legislation a n d Regulations State assistance is available for the transportation of 11eligible11 pupils, (i.e., those who live either beyond a certain distance from the school they attend, which is determined by each school district, or participate in a special education program). Funding for public transportation for school children is provided at a lower level than that for school bus transportation in Colorado. Colorado has passed legislation regulating minimum standards of service. State law requires that there shall be no 11Standees11 while the bus is in motion. Pupils transported per trip, to and from school-related events, may not exceed the manufacturer's rated pupil capacity.

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24 No one, except school personnel and school children regularly assigned to a vehicle, may ride in the bus without written authorization from an administrator. {4) Operational Aspects The transportation of pupils on public transit usually begins with an agreement between the local school district and the public transit operator. The latter may enter into this agreement in the role of a contractor. Generally, this agreement includes one or more of the following components: 1. number of pupils and/or trips to be served; 2. level of payment/reimbursement; 3. mode of payment/reimbursement; 4. issuance of student passes; and 5. provision of service. \ The number of pupils and/or trips to be served on public transit is usually specified in the agreement for two reasons: 1) to determine unit costs; and 2) to determine the necessity, nature, and extent of expanding service. A major determinant of the number of pupils transported is the proximity of students to a regular route. A public transit provider may establish a new route if a sufficient number of school trips may be generated along the route. Such a route must be published and open to the general public to comply with UMTA requirements, but could operate at times expressly designed for school service.

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25 The cost incurred by the school district in using public transit for public transportation varies from site to site. The level of payment varies from 9.5 cents per trip in Minot, North Dakota to 31.5 cents per trip in Denver, Colorado. Besides the differences in bus fares among the various sites studied, level of payment is primarily impacted by two factors. First, many transit systems have opted, or are required to offer a reduced "youth" or "student" fare on their regular transit routes and tripper runs. (In this case, the subsidized portion of the fare is not funded directly by the state, and where the fare charged to the district or student does not cover the actual cost of operation, it appears that Federal funding is being to subsidize student transportation.) Second, the type of service contracted may impact level of payment. Generally, provision of pupil transportation by some.means other than on regular routes may increase the cost to the district. The method used to pay (or reimburse) the transit authority for providing pupil transportation may be classified as either prepayment or postpayment. The most common arrangement is to pay for the total cost of service in advance. If passes are used, districts may simply be invoiced per pass issued. Alternatively, districts may purchase tokens from the transit authority and distribute them to the appropriate pupils. Prepayment systems primarily rely upon estimates

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26 of project use. In contrast, postpayment systems are based upon estimates of actual use. One method of determining actual use is to perform periodic headcounts. Another method is to estimate use according to fluctuations in school attendance. Some of the agreements made between the local school district and the public transit operator include the issuing of student passes. Some passes merely identify a pupil as eligible to ride public transit at a specified reduced fare. This type of,pass may be used with tokens. Other passes cover the fare, but the terms of use vary from site to site. Most passes may only be used between certain hours. For example, Sacramento California Unified School District buys passes for eligible students which are valid only from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days. (3) However, the pass could be used at other times (weekday evenings and weekends) with a nominal fare if desired. In this case, the district would appear to be subsidizing non-school travel. These passes may be limited to use only between a certain stop and school on the route specified. In entering into an agreement with a district for the transportation of pupils, it is understood that the public transit operator will provide the additional capacity to accommodate the influx of pupils. This increase in demand is generally met by providing tripper

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27 service (as previously defined). In most cases, this involves the scheduling of additional buses over regular routes during the A.M. and P.M. peak on school days. However, if the demand is not adequately met by existing route alignments, it may be necessary to design new routes or modify existing routes accordingly. Tripper buses are usually distinguished from regular buses by some identifying marking such as "SPECIAL" symbol. Moreover, the one common characteristic among tripper buses is that they almost exclusively serve pupils. While federal legislation forbids public operators receiving or benefiting from federal funding from excluding the general public, these users generally would not patronize tripper buses because they prefer not to ride with a busload of children. SUMMARY Systems are subject to extensive regulation as pointed out in this chapter. In spite of the many restrictions, there are many coordinated programs which are currently in operation in Colorado, the United States as a whole and throughout the world. The next chapter outlines a selection of these programs.

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CHAPTER III CURRENT SCHOOL/PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION COORDINATION Existing Colorado Coordination 28 Currently several localities within Colorado have some form of school transportation/public transportation coordination. Generally speaking, arrangements are informar, that is students use public transportation because school bus transportation is not provided for them by the district or because they prefer it to the school bus. Of course, private and parochial school pupils have long used public transportation, often because there is no alternative. Formal arrangements are scarce because of the institutional considerations of "turf". School transportation departments are not anxious to shrink by giving up some students to public transportation. School officials would rather not get involved in projects which have no direct relation to their primary function. Most school districts, due to declining birth rates, are not gaining enrollment, but costs of education for the remaining students have risen. This situation will require districts to consider more cost-effective means of providing transportation for

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29 school children. Some public transit providers including the Regional Transportation District (RTD) have not aimed their marketing strategies toward students, in part due to concerns about mixing students with the general public. A few years ago when RTD offered free fares during off-peak hours to encourage ridership, complaints were heard about the behavior of those students who took advantage of the program. Newspapers and television stations publicized the concerns of the bus drivers, passengers and businesses impacted by large numbers of rowdy students. The Denver Public Schools in 1983 spent 9.7 million dollars or 4.4% of the general fund budget for school transportation operations. Included in that figure is $80,582 which was paid to independent contractors for transportation. A summary of those expenditures is shown in Table 2. The district found that these expenditures were very cost effective. The taxicab service came to $15.74 per trip which Dr. Gerald Elledge said was cheaper than running a school bus carrying one child. Based on the Public School Transportation Act Reimbursement Claim Form (see Appendix) submitted to the State of Colorado annually, the Denver Public Schools operating cost per pupil trip was $1.23 in 1983-84. RTD bus fare is now 70 cents per trip in the peak hours (6:00 a.m. to 9:00a.m., 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m.) and 35 cents per trip in off peak hours. Youth (ages 6-19) passes are priced at $16 monthly. The potential for savings by the

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TABLE 2 SCHOOL DISTRICT I SUPPLEMENTAL SERVICES CONTRACTED School Year 1983-1984 REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT Special Education 43 student passes @ $16 each = Vocational Education 3,070 tokens @ $.315 each = 137 student passes @ $16 each = $ 688.00 967.05 2,192.00 Regular Transportation to and from School 2,310 tokens @ $.315 each = 727.65 32 student passes @ $16 each = 512.00 Excursions 9,185 tokens @ $.315 each = Special Programs 3,256 tokens @ $.315 each= 154 student passes @ $16 each = RTD Total TAXICAB USE 2,893.28 1,025.64 2,464.00 $11,469.57 Description Number of Number of Students Trips After School Activities Alt. Learning Center Health Services Illness Special Education T.L.C. 8 VOE l 2 3 3 1,260 25 523 93 1,302 2 77 118 1,167 2,403 4,383 Taxicab Total$69,112.43 Total paid to independent contractors = $80,582 Source: Denver Public Schools 30

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31 School District on a per pupil basis could be 87 cents per trip. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) carries many more pupils who are not eligible for transportation because they do not live further than two miles from their assigned middle school or three miles from high school. Fares are paid by the students in such cases and are not reimbursed by the school district. Because the RTD routes are set up to serve employment and shopping centers, they may not serve schools. However, there is much duplication of school and public transit routes. For example, three middle schools are located adjacent to Colorado Boulevard, a major north-south route through the city. Due to court ordered desegregation, many students are bused between primarily black and primarily white neighborhoods to these schools. RTD already uses at least one tripper bus which deviates two blocks on the Colorado Boulevard route to serve Gove Middle School mornings and afternoons. However, students pay their own fares so there is no formal agreement between the schools and RTD in this case. RTD provides this service voluntarily in order to absorb heavy student ridership without disrupting regular Colorado Boulevard service. Table 3 shows that 25 percent of the ridership on the Colorado Springs Transit System is students between the ages of 12 and 18. The school districts served by Springs Transit depend on the bus system to transport

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32 students. Area school boards have tightened transportation eligibility requirements in the past five years in order to control costs. The transit system has responded by providing more frequent peak hour service to junior and senior high schools and charging a fare of 40 cents to students on school days. In addition, peak-hour, peak direction passenger counts taken for the 1983 Transit Development Program revealed that several of the maximum load points were junior and senior high schools between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. While student ridership was up 9% over 1975 levels, ridership by passengers over the age of 65 declined by 6%. The consultant, McDonald transit, speculated that the increase in student ridership had driven seniors from the bus system, especially on routes serving the schools. In Longmont, Colorado the Regional Transportation District instituted a free fare program within the city in September of 1984 at the City's request to increase ridership. The school children of the area took advantage of this program for rides to school immediately. Most student riders are not eligible for transportation on the school buses. School trips now account for 25% of the ridership of the system. Additional buses have been put on in the morning and afternoon peak hours to handle the influx of students. The number of school trips has risen by 31% over 1983 levels, according to surveys by RTD, while total ridership has risen 72% since institution of

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33 TABLE 3 DEMOGRAPHIC COMPARISON OF TRANSIT RIDERS TO POPULATION IN SERVICE AREA OF COLORADO SPRINGS TRANSIT Sex: Percent of Percent of PopulationColorado Springs in CST Service Area Male 48.5 Female 51.5 Race: White 80.0 Black 5.5 Hispanic 8.2 Asian 1.4 Other 4.9 Age: 0 -5 Years 9.2 6 -ll " 9.3 12 -18 " 12.2 19 -44 " 44.6 45 -59 " 13.6 " 60 -64 " 3.3 65 and Over 7.6 Income: (Combined yearly income for all persons in household) Less than $5,000 5,000 to 9,999 10,000 to 14,999 15,000 to 24,999 25,000 to 34,999 Over 35,000 11.3 18.7 18.5 28.6 14.2 9.8 Auto Ownership: (Vehicles per 0 16.8 1 33.0 2 29.7 3 or more housing unit) 31.4 36.8 22.1 21.5 Source: Colorado Springs Transit Development Program, 1983, McDonald Transit Transit Ridership 43.9 56.1 69.1 15.4 9.4 2.1 4.1 0.7 2.4 25.1 54.4 9.3 2.3 5.8 19.4 22.3 19.2 19.0 10.8 9.3

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34 the free fare program. Greeley, Colorado leadership, according to Pete Morrell, Greeley City Manager, has for some years discussed the possibility of the city providing contract bus service for the School District. The sight of city buses on the same routes as school buses suggested an overall cost savings to citizens might be realized through integration, coordination or consolidation of the systems. On February 7, 1984 the Greeley City Council passed a resolution that it was willing to cooperate with Weld County School District 6 in order to provide service for students. (See Appendix) Consultants were hired to determine the potential for such a system. Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company, an accounting firm, determined that no savings could be realized through integration of the two systems and still maintain the quality of transit service currently provided due to: o Higher labor costs for city bus operations o Higher seating capacity of school buses as compared to city buses o Service characteristics -the city buses focus on downtown while school buses focus.on schools Another consultant, a transportation planning and engineering firm, Leigh, Scott & Cleary, Inc. prepared a study showing cost savings if junior and senior high school students living within the city were not provided

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35 school bus service. The Greeley bus system would then adjust regular routes to serve the schools as needed. Costs could be borne by students and their families since bus fares for students are ten cents per trip in Greeley or by the school district. Other potential cost savings were seen in shuttle bus routes between schools which basically followed present routes. None of the study results have been implemented but a number of recommendations were made which would slowly begin a cooperation between the two very separate systems such as agreements for emergencies and shared training for bus drivers.{?) Fort Collins, Colorado recently hired CRS Sirrine, Inc., a transportation consultant, to determine the potential for Transfort's coordination with the school district as part of a Transit Development Program Update. The interest in school transportation by the bus system stemmed from the positive experience it has had with carrying the college students at Colorado State University on a contract funded by student fees. Pupil Use of Public Transportation The literature search resulted in some case studies which are summarized below. Each has ideas which are readily transferrable to Colorado. The selected coordination programs have application in Colorado and do suggest that while cost savings may not always be substantial, services may be improved to school children

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36 and the general public. In the Malmo region of southern Sweden, approximately 9,000 home-to-school trips are made on an average weekday on the community-operated transit system. This represents 45 percent of the public transit ridership. In addition to the regular route transit service, some students are transported by separate school buses and taxis in areas where the public transit service cannot accommodate student travel needs. There are indications that this arrangement is not necessarily costeffective due to the morning peaking of school and commuter ridership. The same number of buses is required at that hour of the morning, whether students are on school buses or public transit. However, the community is very satisfied with this combined system. (3) Hohenlohe, Germany, a rural area about one hour's drive from Stuttgart, Germany found that its regular route public transit system was suffering from loss of ridership. Therefore, an experiment was begun in 1979 to coordinate school transportation and public transportation to avoid loss of public transportation. Apparently, this experiment has been quite successful in saving operating costs and in better coverage of the transportation network. The primary conclusion of the study was that a great deal of cooperation was required to work out nittygritty problems of routing and scheduling and the need for a coordinating agency to "broker" the interests of both

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37 systems is required. In this case the federal government of Germany filled this role. (8) The instances of coordination in the United States are most common in very large cities such as Atlanta where the Atlanta School District has a contract agreement with the metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority (MARTA) for transportation of pupils at a reduced fare of 15 cents. The school district is billed for the remaining portion of each trip, 10 cents based on an 180-day school year with head counts in fall and spring by drivers. Yellow school bus service now costs 67 cents per trip in Atlanta so cost savings to the district are substantial. (9) The City of Minot, North Dakota {population 33,000) provides fixed-route school shuttle circulator service during peak hours within school attendance areas and transports children directly to schools. Links between school shuttle routes and regular off-peak routes provide continuity of service for the general public. The school district has never provided school buses within the city except for special education. That service and one regular rural route are operated by the school district. Fare for all passengers on the Minot bus system is 45 cents per trip. The school district does not reimburse student bus fare. However, the state pays the school district 9.5 cents per ride based on the bus driver's count. The school district turns this money over to the

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38 City Bus System. Since Minot is a small town, the vast majority of students walk to school. Savings to the school district are substantial because there are such low out of pocket expenses for transportation. (lO) Non-Pupil Use of School Buses This section reviews past and present experiences involving the use of school buses for non-pupil transportation. These include services open to all members of the public and those limited to special market segments (e.g., the elderly and handicapped), services sponsored by municipalities, social service agencies, and private companies and organizations. Examples of operations under both typical conditions and in response to emergency situations are given. In Arlington County, Virginia, (population 175,000,) available school buses, owned by the school district, are contracted for by the County to provide j elderly transportation. Currently, two school buses are used on a regular basis to provide transportation to a county nutritional program. Daily ridership on these trips averages between 25 and 30 persons. Under the terms of the contract, the County is billed for the use of the school bus (at 36 cents per vehicle-mile) and for the driver's services (at $7.36 per hour). Federal funding under Older Americans Act (OAA) Title VII is used to provide this service. School buses are also utilized by the County to transport groups of seniors to social and

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39 recreational activities. It is rare when more than one school bus is used at a time for this purpose. There are generally no more than ten of these trips made each month. The Arlington County experience demonstrates that group (many-to-one) trips are a viable use for available school buses, especially since they represent an increase in revenue to the school district (or private contractor) and a less costly alternative vehicle for the County (or human service agency) than purchasing additional buses. (ll) Cape May is the southernmost, least populated (64,000) county in New Jersey. Local public transit is provided, but.only during the resort season (May to September). Limited taxi service is also available throughout the year. Twenty-nine percent of the permanent population of Cape May are senior citizens,.many of whose transportation needs are unmet, especially during the off-season. In response, the county established a county-wide social service transportation system for elderly, low-income, and handicapped persons in 1974. Operating on weekdays from 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m., this service provides fixed-route transit with five school bus-type vehicles and 24-hour advance-reservation demand-response service and subscription service with five vans. While the base fleet of vehicles is owned by the county, a lift-equipped school bus owned by a school district is occasionally used when

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40 the demand for such service exceeds supply and if the school bus is available. The name of the service, "FareFree", denotes that no fare is charged. Federal funding under OAA Title III, Title VII and Title XX are used to support the system. It is important to note that school bus operators can provide not only a source of vehicles for conventional fixed-route services, but also may be able to provide small van-like buses which are accessible to the handicapped. (3) Johnson County, Kansas (population of 221,000) is located directly southwest of Kansas City. Most of the population is concentrated in the northeast sector of the County, while the rest of the County is quite rural. There are five public transit routes which serve Johnson County; however, all of them are located in the northeast sector and primarily serve to Kansas City. Consequently, there is a lack of intra-county public transportation. Since 1973, the Johnson County Mental Retardation center has contracted with a private school bus operator to provide transportation to its clients. Three types of services are provided. The first utilizes five school buses (three of which are equipped with lifts) to transport clients between their homes and the Center's sheltered workshop program on weekdays. Ridership on this service is currently averaging about 100 roundtrips per

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41 day. The second type of service utilizes one or two school buses for recreational trips. Generally, one to two weekday trips are made each week and one weekend trip is made each month. Ridership on weekday recreational trips averages 35 while ridership on weekend trips averages 60 persons. The third service utilizes two school buses to provide a subscription commuter service . . for agency cl1ents w1th jobs. A fare of $1.50 (paid in face-value scrip) is charged for this service. Ridership on this service is currently averaging 30 round-trips per day. The county is billed for the use of the vehicles (at 70-80 per mile) and for the use of the driver (at $4.47 per hour). In addition to the scrip revenue, Federal (Section V) and State funding is used to finance the service. (11) Latah County, population 25,000, is located in a rural, mountainous region in north-central Idaho. Approximately half the population is concentrated in the City of Moscow on the county's and state's western border. The rest of the county is sparsely populated. Approximately 15 percent of the county population is elderly. While there is a local taxi service in Moscow, the travel demands of the elderly and handicapped rural population, until 1975, remained unmet. At this time, the Area Council on Aging approached and subsequently contracted with five school districts for use of their

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42 school buses in order to accommodate this need. This avenue was pursued for two reasons: 1) the school bus fleet represented the only existing resource that could adequately provide service; and 2) senior citizen groups had previously made use of available school hours for recreational trips. Service began in 1975 on a regularly-scheduled twice-a-month along two designated routes, 90 miles and 112 miles in round trip length. The service is provided between 8:45 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. with 36 (adult) passenger school buses able to hold up to 36 adults. No fare is charged. The Area Council on Aging is billed monthly by the district for the use of the school bus (at 40 50 per mile) and for the services of the driver (at $3.00-$4.00 per hour). The Latah County experience provides an example of a case (and a valuable precedent) where the insurance obstacle of obtaining coverage for the use of school buses for non-pupil transportation was overcome. Specifically, the district's insurance underwriter added riders to the original policies, resulting in only a small increase in cost. (Adding a rider to a school district's existing policy cost an additional $50.00 per year per vehicle whereas writing a separate policy would have cost $1,600 annually.) Four out of the five districts assumed this cost, while the fifth included the cost in the mileage charge. (ll)

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43 Response to Emergency Conditions Many restrictions to the non-pupil use of school buses that are in effect under normal conditions are likely to be relaxed during an emergency to accommodate the increased demand for public transportation. The following two case examples illustrate how school buses have been used to alleviate general mobility problems respectively resulting from a blizzard and an energy shortage. On Monday, February 6, 1978, a major snowstorm struck the Boston area, dumping over 30 inches of snow in a 24-hour period. The resulting disruption of all transportation service forced the governor to ban all but emergency vehicles from most streets and highways. While most of the major roads were cleared by the following Monday, the ban on non-essential private cars remained in effect, impacting nearly 350,000 who normally drove to work. Two efforts were directed toward accommodating this sudden increase in demand for public transit. First, employers and employees voluntarily staggered working hours to temporarily spread out the peak demand. Second, 30 suburban comm unities contracted with school bus operators to provide express commuter, feeder, and intracommunity service. Moreover, several universities, notably Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) , contracted for school bus service for faculty, students, and employers to whom public transportation was not

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44 accessible. This experience is significant for several reasons. First, because work hours were staggered, the same school buses could be used for both pupil and nonpupil transportation. Second, because a state of emergency was declared, school buses could be used to augment existing public transit since all pertinent public utility regulations were temporarily suspended for the duration of the emergency. Third, school buses represent a resource that potentially can be used by private commuters to provide buspool service when there is a sudden lack of transit.(ll) In June 1979 during the nationwide gasoline shortfall, Dade County, Florida's gasoline supplies were temporarily cut off by a truckers' blockade. Within a few days, both the governor and county manager declared a state of emergency. The county's transit system, Metrobus, which typically carries 200,000 weekday passengers, suddenly experienced an influx of approximately 45,000 extra riders. To accommodate this increase in demand, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) negotiated with the County School Board for the use of nine school buses and their drivers to augment public transit. The fact that a state of emergency was in effect was key in that these negotiations could proceed without prior approval of either the Metrobus drivers' union or the school bus drivers' union. The school buses were used

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45 primarily on express routes because these routes experienced the worst over-crowding. During the morning and afternoon peaks, school buses followed behind regular scheduled Metrobuses, thereby adding extra capacity. Fares were collected by passing around a bucket at a designated point on the line-haul segment of the route and then transferring the collected fares to a waiting Wells Fargo truck. Under the agreement, the MTA guaranteed to replace the used fuel, and pay the school district 50 cents per mile for the use of the school bus and $6.85 per hour for the drivers' services. After three and one-half days, the nine school buses collectively travelled 2,400 miles over 190 hours carrying an average of 22 passengers per trip (1,150 total). Operating costs due the school district for this period came to approximately $2,500 while insurance alone was $7,500. While costs totaled approximately $10,000, farebox revenue generated only_$825. It may be concluded that the temporary use of school buses to augment public transit was a successful means of accommodating the sudden increase in demand. As part of its Energy Contingency Plan, the MTA has negotiated with the County School Board for use of its school buses to provide public transit should a fuel shortage reoccur. The Dade County experience also points out a number of major detriments to the use of school buses under normal situations. The insurance costs in

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46 this case were exhorbitant (amounting to three times all other operating costs), due to the minimum premium required by the school board's insurance carrier. Such costs may be difficult to accept even in the event of an emergency and this issue should be resolved more favorably in the design of the Contingency Plan. Other major problems, which were only avoided due to the emergency situation included labor issues, driver availability, and the difficulty of providing an acceptable fare collection system. (l2 ) Summary There have been some small efforts made in Colorado toward coordinating pupil and non-pupil transportation but more can be accomplished. We can save money and energy, reduce congestion on the streets and provide more service for each dollar spent. We can allow more citizens use of school vehicles for which all citizens pay in the form of property taxes. Students can readily pick up the "transit habit" by using it for necessary every day transportation to school and related activities. We may have to find new types of vehicles, hybrids which combine the attributes of school buses and transit vehicles. We may have to change school and working hours or even think creatively to make coordination work, but it can be done. The following chapter suggests specific alternatives with their application to Colorado.

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47 CHAPTER IV ISSUES IN COORDINATING PUPIL AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Students Use of Public Transportation The issues involved in the student use of public transportation may best be illustrated by a very ' interesting case which came to public attention in the summer of 1983 in Pasadena, California. The school district there announced that it would not renew its contract for school bus service with the Embree Bus Service. Instead, the district said that it would buy bus passes for any junior or senior high school student who previously rode school buses. The Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) then announced that it intended to expand service to bus lines running near the affected schools. In addition, some routes would be altered in the morning and evening to the schools providing "tripper service" at those times. The SCRTD ran some bus routes exclusively for junior high and senior high schools in the city for the 1983-84 school year. The Pasadena Unified School District provided passes to students at the student rate of 20 cents per student per day to pupils in grades seven and eight who live more than two miles from school and to students in grades nine through twelve who live more than 2.5 miles from school.

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48 The California School Bus Contractors Association charged that "the cost of school transportation would be simply from the school budget to the RTD budget. In either case the costs of school transportation would be borne by the taxpayers. The school bus contractor stood to lose $747,000 per year in business. The school district itself, however, in California as in Colorado, may either run a transportation operation themselves or contract out for such services to a private company or pay transit fares for pupils in the district that need them. Both federal and state law only stipulate that transport must be it does not specify at what cost, or at what extent or what method must be used to provide service. The motives for the policy in Pasadena are cleai. The school district can say it saved 'X' dollars on transportation. Meanwhile, the SCRTD needs to build ridership on its system in order to build public support. The private operator feels that since the public system is heavily subsidized by tax monies, this policy is a threat to the private sector of the transportation industry and to school district provided transportation, which may be provided now at a lower cost than public systems can. The federal government certainly has a financial stake in moving school transportation to the public transportation providers. School districts nationally

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49 could gain a grip on the UMTA operating assistance budget as local transportation agencies attempt to serve school children. Public transit's ridership would grow, but perhaps at a cost to the federal operating subsidies. The Reagan administration opposition to federal operating assistance might find just the ammunition they have wanted if it were discovered that federal dollars were being used to take over private sector or local government services. UMTA regulations, as previously noted, do allow tripper service as long as the is published in the agency route schedule. In October 1982, UMTA .further delineated what characteristics of "tripper" bus scheduling make that service "exclusive" and therefore in violation of federal law. An advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the subject stated that if any of the following factors.exist, then. a bus route is illegally exclusive: o Students and school personnel are the only passengers allowed; o The bus service only takes students and school personnel to and from school; o The route's origin and destination is a school; o The service operates only during school hours and the school year; o The bus carries a sign indicating that it is a school bus; or,

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o The school bus routes are not part of the recipient's (operator's) scheduled service. 50 The two year delay in the revision of regulations, according to the UMTA Director of Public Affairs, is because this is an extremely complex issue.-Another issue raised in the Pasadena case is that students are using the passes for entertainment trips to movies and the beach. In California, attempts to pass legislation restricting student use of passes has failed although such restrictions are common in other states. Colorado does not have any laws which address this subject. Private contractors contend that school buses are cheaper to the taxpayer. The transportation agencies, however, are in a dilemma. Do they sit by and refuse to transport a segment of the public in need of transportation, or does it provide service to school children and risk a violation of UMTA regulations (and 80 percent of its federal funding)? The SCRTD did cancel those routes to junior and senior high schools which it felt threatened its federal funding. The cancellations were made in spite of the support for its school operations in a public hearing. However, SCRTD did increase the service to lines with stops near the schools affected. (13) This decision then raised another issue. Because the stops are not as convenient and as it is well

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51 documented by now that more accidents happen at bus stops in the so-called on and off-loading "death zone" than on the buses themselves, is the safety of those students undermined? Who will be held liable if an accident occurs with students on-board -the transit authority or the school district?(ll) A related issue is that the goal of public service is to provide maximum public welfare with minimum public cost. For student transportation that goal is to transport children as safely and inexpensively as possible. Since the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, the federal government has created a very stringent set of safety standards for student transportation vehicles. Although there has been a lengthy set of regulations issued for Advanced Design Buses by UMTA, these rules for transit coaches are not as strict as those for yellow school buses. Accordingly, the school bus is the safest form of service transportation, vehicle mile for vehicle mile, in existence. (11) By allowing school tripper service, some contend that the safety of school children is undermined. Whenever there are school bus accidents, as recently happened in Denver, there are some who insist on seat belts for school buses. (1 4 ) So far this has not been done and there have not been many people asking for seat belts on regular transit buses. Seat belts are used on both school and transit buses used to transport the

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52 handicapped. Students are not allowed to stand on school buses according to federal safety regulations, but transit buses always allow "standees". School bus drivers must undertake stricter certification programs than do public transportation drivers under Colorado state law. ( 4 ) Public Use of Student Transportation The issues involved in public use of school buses are not generally as emotional as those involved in student use of public transit, in part due to the fact that school buses are uncomfortable for adults. In 1980 the United States had 391,000 school buses but only 54,000 transit buses. School buses carried 23,000,000 passenger trips per day while transit buses carried 15,000,000. (11) School buses are also found in far more than are transit buses, which serve primarily urbanized areas. This suggests to many that the school bus has been overlooked as a solution to many transportation problems in our society. School buses are usually idle during day, night, holidays, school vacations, weekends and summer months. School buses are everywhere and are either publicly owned or contracted for by school districts, close to every home. Colorado is one state which can mobilize school buses by emergency declaration by the governor. While Colorado state laws allow use of school buses by elderly citizens, many of them object to the uncomfortable ride, seats and high narrow steps. The fact that these vehicles

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53 provide inexpensive transportation may not overcome the objections of some elderly passengers. Private owners of school buses have more complete control over how their buses are used when they are not in use for school children than public sector operators. The profit motive is an incentive for them to find other uses for their school buses. School districts, however, are not profit minded. Their sole concern is safe transportation for school children. They are usually unwilling to give control of buses to outside groups wishing to get greater use out of school buses even if there are no time conflicts. The lack of public transportation resources appears to be more critical in rural areas so there is a greater likelihood of public use of school buses. It is important to note, though, that school buses may be too large to be used efficiently .in rural areas. This is particularly true in rural Colorado where densities are extremely low in many areas. An issue which often arises is peak period conflicts in the use of vehicles. These could be dealt with by flexibility in hours both by school districts and by employers. Changes in school hours are likely to be resisted by parents but even more significantly by teachers and administrators. If school bus utilization is assessed in terms of miles traveled, school buses really are not

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54 underutilized. A school bus will only travel a limited number of miles. The number of year_ s it takes to reach that may not be significant. More frequent and vigorous use could reduce significantly the life of the bus and necessitate purchasing new school buses more often. School buses cost from $30,000 to $50,000 with an average useful life of 100,000 miles. Transit buses cost $100,000 and up, but have an average useful life of about 300,000 miles traveled. (11) As use of school buses for other than school transportation increases, as it is likely to do when the energy crisis returns, there should be a decrease in effective insurance rates for school buses in non-school use. Private school bus operators now have a national insurance plan which insures up to 10% of other-thanschool-related trips at the same rate as for providing school service only. (3) Concern for safety regarding non-school use of school buses is partly a perceptual problem and partly a real one. The perceptual problem involves the concern that commercialization might undermine the integrity of the buses in terms of their ability to transport children safely to school. The real safety problem is that school buses were not designed for stop and start traffic, normal traffic speeds, quick acceleration and deceleration, tight turns or constant use. The overall safety of the bus might be affected by such use. The other concern is that

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55 the public's perceptions of school buses could change if they are not usually carrying children, thus endangering the safety standards which evolved over the years. Summary A number of factors which may reduce the desirability and feasibility of coordinating student and general public transportation have been identified in this chapter. While legislative barriers may be removed by government, operational aspects of transportation services may be more difficult to alleviate. The physical design of the school bus is one area of concern. The similarity in peak hours of ridership for school buses and public transit may greatly diminish opportunities to use vehicles in a coordinated way. The difference in operating costs as well as funding mechanisms may also play an important part in the determination of which types-of coordination are practical.

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56 CHAPTER V ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS FOR COORDINATION/COOPERATION The following matrix summarizes possible short range actions which may lead to the coordination of school district transportation with public transportation in a way that would promote efficiency in the operation of the transit system. A further analysis of these alternative actions is presented in the next section of this Chapter. It is important to point out that these actions may lead, in time, to far more comprehensive coordination between school districts and governments not only in transportation matters but also in the way in which we socialize our children to enter the real world. For example, the students are now taught that they are a special group riding in a special vehicle, different from that which others ride, and that they ride in groups in the same age category. It is suggested that we may want our to teach our children that they are a part of the whole society, not just their own cohort from an early age.

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63 Most Promising Alternatives Analysis The following actions were studied in greater detail since the potential benefits seemed most applicable to Colorado communities. The action numbers noted refer to the preceding tables. Action No. 1 Triooer Bus Service The transportation of pupils on public transit usually begins with an agreement or contract between the local school district and the public transit operator. In Colorado, the State Department of Education must approve any such contract. They would look at a contract carefully since there is no precedent for it in Colorado. Colorado law provides that not more than 60 percent of the cost of contracts with public transit ma y be reimbursed by the state. Federal legislation forbids public transit operators that benefit from federal funding from excluding non-pupil patrons (i.e., the general public). However, as a practical matter, these users generally do not ride tripper buses because they prefer not to ride with a bus load of children. These buses may stop only at regular service stops, and all routes must be within the operator's regular route service. This may include. stopping at schools only twice a day if this is noted in the published schedule. School bus routes are oriented to schools and the vehicles used have a large (60-passenger) capacity. Some r/

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64 routes also form an intricate pattern designed to save time and bus miles. A public route-oriented bus system cannot operate as efficiently as the school bus system, for this purpose. Additionally, if a school district simply buses to pick up students, the costs would still be higher due to smaller vehicle capacity and higher labor and insurance costs of public bus systems. The above analysis does point out that some Colorado students now riding school buses could ride public transit to school with little difficulty if changes in routes were made, particularly in cities such as Denver, Greeley and Ft. Collins. In effect, the federal government would then be assuming some costs of the district. The Tripper Bus option could result in higher costs to the public transit system and/or the school district. An option open to school boards is to discontinue school bus service to junior and senior high school students who live in areas with adequate bus service. If the student transit market was there, the public transit system could expand to serve it and has in the case of Colorado Springs, but the savings to the community are very difficult to quantify because of increased costs to the transit system. The transit system is subsidized by federal grants and local funding. Action No. 2: Shuttle Bus Service Regular routes could provide all-day-shuttle

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65 service between schools as a secondary function. Regular routes designed with schools in mind could be used as a shuttle service between junior and senior high schools allowing students to attend classes at other schools. Changes in route times by the bus and/or school schedules by the district could result in more frequent service for the students and increased ridership for systems. Route deviations and modifications could also be used during the school day. If the district wished to provide tokens, or passes to students for shuttle about 25 percent of the cost could be reimbursed by the State of Colorado, according to Colorado Revised Statutes 25-51-104. The cost to the public transit system for the route deviation would be based on mileage involved. No additional buses would be required for this service since it is anticipated that there would be sufficient capacity on the buses during the midday hours. There would be no violation of UMTA regulations if the route deviation and the times were published on the regular schedule. The system could receive more in revenue than it spent on the route deviation, and may well attract more ridership as students become accustomed to the bus system. Action No. 3: Route Modifications and Expansions to Serve Schools New and/or improved service could be provided by the Route Expansion and Modification for schools. The

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66 increased service to schools should mean an increased student ridership. Parents and school staff would also benefit from the increased access. This would not require action on the part of the school board. Savings for the school districts would be realized as some junior and senior high students will elect to use public transit instead of the school bus because it serves them at different times and for other trips such as to/from the Public Library and for transportation to after-school work and social trips. In addition, this service could set the stage for public transit service taking over at least a part of school service in the future. The Denver School Board as well as other Colorado school boards, has the responsibility of determining the method of transportation for students. If 20% of student trips now made on yellow school buses were made on public transit, an estimated $439,000 annually could be saved by the school district in operating costs alone as shown in Table 6. This action would shift costs from a property to a sales tax since RTD farebox revenue pays only about 22% of operating expenditures, as shown in Table 7. In addition, RTD received in 1984 $48,631,000 in federal grants primarily used to fund capital expenditures, including vehicles. The overall savings to taxpayers in the community would occur only to the extent that buses now running partially full in some areas at peak times

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67 would be filled. The imp .act on RTD would be a 3% increase in daily ridership. Average weekday ridership is about 133,000 according to RTD 1984 Facts and Figures.

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TABLE 6 COMPARISON OF OPERATIONS COSTS FOR DAILY SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION 68 A (Present Method) B (Proposed Method) Denver School Dist. I RTD Cost per student(l) Number of Students(2) Annual Cost(3) Potential State Reimbursements(4) Total Costs to Public Schoolsl ) $1.23 4,400 $974,160 $321,688 $652,688 Potential Savings to School District .36 4,400 $285,120 $71,280 $213,840 $438,843 (l) A. Based on operating cost per trip per student reported to the state by Denver Public Schools. B. Based on $16.00 monthly youth pass (44 trips per month) ( 2 ) Assumed 20% of 21,900 students who could use RTD bus service (students in Grades 7-12 living near actual or potential routes) ( 3) A. B. ( 4) A. B. 4,400 students x 2 trips x 180 days x 1.23 4,400 students x 2 trips x 180 days x .36 Estimated 33% of operating costs now reimbursed Estimated 25% of public transportation costs which may be reimbursed from Public School Transportation Fund ( 5 ) Annual cost minus state reimbursement

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TABLE 7 1984 RTD BUDGET BUDGET EXPENDITURES 1984 ADOPTED 1984 Systems Development, Transit Planning and Transit Capital TOTAL Reserve Administrative $ 15,529,340 Operations 74,695,800 59,256,000 $149,481,140 $62,282,860 SOURCES OF FUNDING 1984 BUDGETS 1984 .6 of One Percent Sales Property Tax Tax$74,555,000 Transit Operating Revenue Federal Grants -o-19,5oo,ooo 48,631,000 Revenue Bonds Proceeds From Sales Tax Investment Income Other Income TOTAL 5,700,000 300,000 $148,936,000 Source: RTD 1984 Facts and Figures 69 250,000

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70 Action No. 5: Consolidation of Elderly and Handicapped Service with School District Special Education Bus Service This alternative involves school districts contracting with the public system to provide door-to-door service they now provides to physically, mentally and emotionally disabled students. Aides are required on the buses for some students. As shown in Figure 1, some lift-equipped vehicles owned by school districts are available during the school year between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. It is important to note that this is a "typical" day. Some vehicles still must be available for use by disabled students according to federal and state laws when the rest of the class participates in activities away from school. These vehicles are then needed to carry disabled students unable to travel in regular school buses. / The school district boundaries may not be congruent with those of the transit service area. This could result in difficulties with the use of contracts which serve all of the public interests. Special education vehicles purchased with special education state capital reimbursement of 40 percent of cost may not be used for anyone other than those students for whom they are intended, according to the "Exceptional Children's Education Act".6 Most districts do take advantage of this state reimbursement. The operation cost for both the public and

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Ill .!! 0 .c Cll > 0 ... Cll ..0 E :J z r-•gure Weld County School District 6 Lift-Equipped Vehicle Use By Hour 4 3 2 0 7:00AM Greeley, Colorado Y (SCHOOL-YEAR) 2 :00 TIME OF DAY NOTE : Lift-Equipped School Vehicles are Seldom Used Evenings or Saturdays SOURCE : Weld County School District 6 4:00

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72 District Special Education Department transit services is estimated to be about $15 per vehicle hour. (7) While there are efficiencies in combining vehicles, dispatching, maintenance and administrative functions, there are social constraints on mixing adults and children as well as mixing the physically and mentally disabled. The needs for transportation during the same morning and afternoon peak-hours means there would be no reduction in the number of vehicles required, as shown in Figure 2. It is necessary to point out here, the overwhelming concerns of society for children with special needs. An impediment to consolidation would be the fears of parents of special education students about changes in the provision of transportation for their children. Action No's. 6, 7, and 8: Non-Pupil Uses of School Buses These three alternatives require an assessment by the area human service organizations that transit needs exist in the community which can best be served by use of school buses. Action No. 9: "Emergency Use of School Buses Agreement" An "in place" agreement between school board and the transit system for the emergency use of school buses would speed mobility during emergencies and could save lives and confusion. There are few barriers to emergency use of school vehicles on any government level. Key personnel need to be designated and arrangements made for reimbursement to the district. This is one simple action

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Figure 2 The Bus Lift-Equipped Vehicle Use By Hour I Greeley, Colorado 3 Ill 2 .! .c q) ' > 0 ... q) .0 E :;, z 1 I /SATURDAY ,---------L-------------------------1 \ I \\ I . \ I \ I . \ , 0 8:00 Time of Day • Additional Capacity Available at These Times SOUnCE : City of Greeley

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74 that would provide an initial forum for policy makers to discuss further coordination efforts. Action No. 10: An "Agreement" between City and School District for Sharing Lift-Equipped Vehicles Most school districts own lift-equipped buses and mini-vans which are used throughout the school day to transport physically and emotionally disabled students to and from school. The peak-hours for this service are approximately the same for both the school and public transit systems. Another impediment is that state legislation for special education prevents non-special education use of vehicles that were purchased with .40 percent state reimbursement. School boards also may have policies allowing only special education students to use school district lift-equipped vehicles. Arrangements would need to be made for reimbursement between the two entities and compensation would need to be provided to school bus drivers since they are paid a lower wage than public transit system drivers. School buses often have a monitor along to assist with students while public system bus drivers assist disabled riders, if necessary. According to UMTA regulations, the public system cannot allow the school district to use its vehicles during peakhours when they are needed to provide regular service. Many compromises and policy changes would be needed to implement Action 10. A high percentage of ridership of E & H vehicles

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75 is for medical appointments, elderly nutrition and recreational programs. Another large group of users are disabled college students in some cities who attend classes weekdays during the school year. Passengers are often turned away between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays due to high demand at those times on systems such as RTD's Handy Ride. An alternative may be for those affected to arrange medical appointments, classes and recreational activities at times when vehicles are available such as evenings and Saturdays when there is a low demand for E & H service. The possibility exists for use of school vehicles by public systems midday, evenings, and Saturdays. A beginning would be a written agreement allowing each entity access to the other's vehicles for special times such as emergencies, larger holiday parties, meetings for disabled citizens and large events. Such an agreement would include: 1. Arrangements for reimbursement/fare collection 2. Insurance rider arrangement by the school district to be paid by the public system 3. Bus driver compensation agreements. Action No. 11: Emergency Agreement for Repairs, Maintenance Equipment, Facilities and Fuel The ability to share resources which might be available in an emergency to either should be a

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76 high priority action. regulations do allow shared resources in emergency situations, but reimbursement from one agency to another would be necessary. An agreement for this sharing should be simple and straightforward, setting forth the basic ground rules without going into great detail. An important aspect of the agreement would be to designate the key persons, by job title, who would implement the required sharing. Again many barriers to coordination come down when an emergency arises. School Board and the transit system could agree on sharing resources in case of emergency or disaster. This requires a designated key person for each system and arrangements for reimbursement when the emergency is over. Action No. 13: Shared Use of Maintenance Equipment Equipment purchased for public transit by Urban Mass Transportation Administration funds must be used for Transit System vehicles according to federal regulations. Action No. 14: An "Agreement" for Common Instruction of Personnel There seem to be good possibilities for cooperation in the area of training personnel. Both systems require much training due to federal and state regulations concerning safety. Much could be gained by sharing special knowledge, particularly if public transit drivers began carrying larger numbers of school district pupils. School bus drivers are well-trained in techniques

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77 for handling students. On the other hand, transit drivers are adept at handling the general public. The school districts now spend significant amounts annually on training, including labor and material costs. Both systems need to train employees in the areas of first aid, CPR, and defensive driving. There are benefits to be gained by both systems in sharing film rentals, instructors and travel time for drivers and mechanics. Public transit and the school boards may see this as a good place to begin real coordination between the systems. A possible impediment to implementation of this alternative is that UMTA may object to materials purchased with federal funds being used by school district personnel. Dollar savings may be small, but further discussions between the systems would be beneficial to both. Alternatives Summary The comprehensive list of alternative actions for school district/public transi t consolidation, cooperation or coordination addresses issues that have been discussed by local decision makers and the public. Many of the alternative actions provide few tangible benefits for either the school district or public transit in the short term. Real benefits for the school district and public transit can be realized by school districts utilizing routes as a shuttle service between high schools possibly with minor route deviations. An estimated cost savings to

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78 the school district would be anticipated. Ridership would be increased for some routes and the "transit habit" would be reinforced for high school students. There are also transit service benefits for staff and students in linking schools. The overall expansion of the public transit to schools would increase general ridership of students and staff on buses. Innovative ways to use these expanded services would likely occur once they were established. An "Agreement" between the public transit provider and a school district for sharing lift-equipped vehicles requires dealing with federal and state regulation. The operational costs for both systems are established to be about $15 per hour. The advantages of shared usage of equipment would accrue to public transit and school districts. In any case, the population which uses these vehicles would be better served with back-up plans. Emergency use of school vehicles by transit could be very important, and an agreement in advance would save time in a crisis. Institutional barriers are few in a real crisis. An "Emergency Agreement" between the transit system and the school district for repairs, maintenance equipment facilities and fuel in case of fire, snowstorm, flood or other disaster, is recommended for almost any situation. This action could suggest other areas of cooperation and would provide security for the two systems in time of need.

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79 An "Agreement" for common instruction of personnel could be helpful and cost-effective for transportation. Although large cost savings would not be realized, there is a benefit to the community in training personnel in both types of service. Although few of the alternative coordination actions presented here offer significant financial benefit to either the public transit system or to school districts, they do present opportunities for positive intergovernmental relations. As previously outlined, the actions present short-term opportunities for coordination between the two systems. Implementation of these actions depends upon policy decisions to be made by governments and school boards together, as well as independently. Other actions may be considered by public transportation systems and school districts as long-term coordination efforts.

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80 CHAPTER VI CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Opportunities and Constraints The results of this study indicate conditions under which coordination of public and school transportation would reduce overall community costs and provide better services to the community. The barriers which must be overcome include legislation, regulation and institutional restrictions in addition to operational constraints. The regulatory and institutional barriers come in the form of federal and state laws as well as school board policies. Federal laws and regulations restrict the ability of federally supported transit systems to operate school bus service. Students may not be carried on special school routes or on school buses which are not open to the general public. Route deviations for students must be limited in length and must be published as a part of a schedule. The regulations also state that a bus may only pick up and discharge students at a regular service stop. This may mean students cannot be brought to the school door during peak times and may restrict service for them. One of the reasons for such restrictions is that

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81 there are conflicts with private operators of school bus services and another is the real concern that school transportation could, in effect, be subsidized by the federal government • . Transit systems are nearly all subsidized with both operating and capital funds. Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) funds may not be used to help a school bus system directly. For example, maintenance facilities and equipment may not be used for school vehicles even if there is capacity available for them unless UMTA is reimbursed for the equipment. The potential for labor problems is created by Section 13 C of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964. Labor problems are likely to be encountered where: o a public transit operator assumes service formerly provided by a private contractor to a school district (private operators may suffer loss of business) o service operated by a public transit operator is transferred to a school bus operator o a new service normally provided by public transit is provided by school buses. Labor problems should not impede services if emergency conditions exist. Colorado state laws and regulations present problems in the form of lower levels of funding for school provided by public transportation and

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82 restrictions on the use of school district-owned vehicles. Since very few school buses in Colorado are privately owned, the potential for use of school buses is greatly reduced. The use of publicly owned school buses is restricted to persons living within the school district and preference is given to those 65 years of age and older. These laws can and should be changed. Over the past few years several other states, such as California and Idaho, have loosened restrictions on the use of school buses. .Local school districts also have introduced barriers to coordination in Colorado. Most of these are based on concerns over the safety of students and vehicles. Most districts require that regular school bus drivers operate vehicles for all purposes. Colorado school districts prohibit the public from riding buses with students. Such laws and regulations can be changed if school boards and state legislators see the advantages of school bus use by others in terms of public support for schools or additional revenues. The most important operational consideration in the coordination of school and public transit service is that both tend to have peak ridership during the same periods, particularly in the morning. In many locations this means that all available vehicles are in use at the same time. Other aspects of school bus operations which restrict their use in public service are:

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83 o Since school buses are designed to accommodate children, most adults find them uncomfortable. o No fare collection facilities exist on school buses so modification may be necessary. o Necessary insurance may be too expensive to justify service in some cases. The significant differences between the cost of school bus operations and that of public transit indicate that there are few situations in which it is cost effective in terms of the whole community to use public transit for school bus service. These barriers do not eliminate the potential for achieving benefits from coordination of these two sectors. There are numerous examples of public use of school buses and public use of public transit now operating in the United States and throughout the world. The analyses in Chapters IV and V indicate that larger scale use of school buses in emergency situations is viable. In addition, coordination actions in maintenance and perhaps purchase of fuel, radios and other supplies may encourage coordination in-operations in the long term. Recommendations There are several possible actions which appear to offer transportation coordination benefits to Colorado schools and communities. Implementation of some of these is restricted by legislation and regulation as shown in the alternatives analysis. The following changes in

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84 federal and state legislation are recommended. Lift restrictions on the use of UMTA funded capital equipment -UMTA contracts with transportation providers now restrict use of equipment 80% funded by UMTA to the provider. "Occasional use" is allowed by others in case of emergency, but regular use is prohibited unless UMTA funds are repaid. This procedure causes political difficulties with UMTA for the grantees who depend upon this source for much of their capital expenditures. An example of the difficulties this policy has caused may be seen in the following example. UMTA funded 80% of the cost of a new bus garage, solar heated bus washer and vehicles for the City of Greeley transit system. City officials thought that one way to begin efforts at coordination between the school district transportation system and the public transit.system would be to allow school buses to be washed, primarily in freezing weather, in the new bus washer located less than one mile from the school bus facility. School buses are presently washed by hand by t h e drivers. The transit system was willing, since the bus washer was not in use most of the time. When this possibility was broached with UMTA officials in the Region 8 office in Denver, Greeley transit system operators were told that "occasional use" meant in case of emergency and that UMTA would need to be repaid at least a portion of the funding it had provided for the garage and bus washer if the school buses were to

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use the facility on that basis. The benefits of such simple examples of cooperation between systems would be: 85 o a step toward coordination of the two systems, staff would meet in an informal way; o good will for the public transit system which means more ridership; o benefits of cleaner buses with much less effort for the school system which cannot afford special equipment with its local tax base . . Lift the Colorado prohibition on public ridership of district owned school buses when they are engaged in school transportation -This sounds like a very sensible idea in urbanized areas where a public bus system is operating. However, in rural areas which are sparsely populated, school districts could have the option of deciding that policy themselves. Certainly there are constraints on such a policy -higher insurance costs for the school buses, perhaps a lessening of safety for school children. The benefits of such a change would be: o potential for revenue for the school district o mobility for transportation disadvantaged taxpayers in the community o preparation for future predicted fuel shortages. Loosen Colorado restrictions on the use of school district-owned vehicles at times when they are not in use for school transportation -Colorado now restricts use of

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86 district-owned vehicles to groups of five or more district residents with preference given to those 65 years of age and older, when they are available. Some districts have more stringent restrictions on the use of vehicles. Dr. Gerald Elledge of Denver Public Schools mentioned that both the Colorado restriction and the insistence on use of school bus drivers and limits on distance and times of use have prevented school bus use for conventions, transportation to sports events and several other proposed uses. This i s not to say that such school buses are never used. Greeley uses school buses for its "Bronco and elderly citizens of Calhan, Colorado use the school bus for special recreational events. Benefits to school districts and communities of loosening restrictions include: o revenue for school districts o good will in the community o school buses could be used to "kick off" a public transit system especially in rural areas o school buses could be available to community employers for various types of services -perhaps a way to keep them in a community. Lift restrictions in the "Exceptional Children's Act" for Colorado preventing the use of lift-equipped vehicles purchased with 40% state funding for handicapped children -This restriction seems especially cruel to

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87 elderly and disabled citizens, particularly in rural areas, who are confined to wheelchairs. Those specialized vehicles could provide mobility during the school day, weekends and summer for medical appointments, sheltered workshops and recreational centers. Human service providers could contract with the district for the use of these vehicles for nutrition programs, shopping trips and other transportation which would not be possible otherwise for those in wheelchairs. In addition to the above recommendations to change federal, state and district laws and regulations to encourage coordination, there are some strategies for combined use of community transportation resources which could be implemented without changes. Ensure that State Emergency Agreements are in place for the use of school buses -The State of Colorado provides for emergency use of school buses but agreements should be between public transit and school districts as well as coordinated through the State Office of Emergency Preparedness. Detailed implementation procedures including key person designation and location nights, weekends and summer vacations are necessary. In addition, insurance, labor, reimbursement, maintenance and other potential needs can be foreseen. These agreements can save time, lives and money for communities in the event of: o weather emergencies

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88 o accidents -chemical spills, radiation emissions o nuclear disaster o fuel shortage School bus use for transportation of the elderly on a regular basis particularly in rural areas -This option is now used in a few communities, such as Calhan for occasional trips, but not on a regular basis. While school buses are not necessarily attractive for the elderly in terms of comfort, they do provide transportation at low cost where little or no other is available. Park County, for example, has a senior transportation program but there are not enough vehicles. The school systems in that county could, under state law, make those vehicles available during the school day when the greatest need exists for the county nutrition programs in Bailey, Fairplay and Lake George. The vehicles could be used in the summer for medical, recreational, and shopping trips to Denver and Colorado Springs. Student Use of Public Transportation -The most promising coordination strategy involving the use of public transit to serve students is on regular transit routes which have space available during the peak travel periods for students. School hours could be adjusted to take advantage of space available. School boards could face angry parents and students by discontinuing school bus service to at least some students

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89 in grades 7-12. However, reduction in costs to the district could be significant. The financial benefits to the community as a whole are not as clear. Actual costs to the public transit system could be higher if new buses had to be bought to serve peak hour trips only. (Presently almost 80% of capital costs are funded by UMTA grants.) School buses on the other hand are paid for completely by local funds. The following benefits to the schools and communities may include: o development of a "transit habit" by students o .Potential increase in the number of routes and frequency of service by the transit system o increased ridership and revenue for the transit system which may make it more efficient o more integration of generations and perhaps "understanding" by mixing ages on the public transit system o overall cost and energy savings for the community where space is available on current routes. These recommended changes will require public acceptance of the need for coordination between public and school transportation. Community conscious planners and educators will need to promote awareness of the benefits of cost savings improved service to Colorado taxpayers. Suggested Research The analysis introduced several subjects that are

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90 deserving of further research, as noted below: 1. Willingness of the general public to ride school buses, 2. Potential for schools and employers to modify hours in order to gain benefits of coordinated transportation services, 3. Potential for the use of school buses in rural areas to carry the general public on school trips, 4. Costs of providing school transportation to students living relatively close to schools, 5. Benefits of coordinating the use of lift-equipped vehicles owned by school districts and transit systems, 6. Effects of "Transit Habit" formed by high school students on public transit ridership, 7. Transit bus safety vs. school bus safety for students. 8. Influence of public transportation ridership by students on the Denver court order for racial integration of schools. Further research into these aspects of transportation coordination may lead the way to the recommended legislative changes. Public attitudes toward the provisions of Transportation are linked to the perceived costs, convenience and safety for all. Transportation coordination in Colorado can benefit both schools and communities.

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91 LIST OF REFERENCES 1. Lane, George "21 Students Injured in School Bus Crash," in The Denver Post, November 10, 1984, p.4A 2. Smith, Herbert H. Coordination of Community Resources Through City/School Cooperation, Denver Urban Observatory (1980) 3. U.S. Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, The Coordination of Pupil and Non-Pupil Transportation, Washington, D.C. (r-iarch 1982) 4. Colorado Department of Education, Colorado Rules and Regulations Governing Operation of School Transportation Vehicles, Denver, Colorado (1983) 5. U.S. Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Savings on Bus Insurance in Wisconsin: Joint Vehicle Insurance Program Implementation, .washington, D.C. (March 1982) 6. Bluebird Bus Company Price List, Fort Valley, Georgia (January 1985) 7. Leigh, Scott & Cleary, Inc., Transit Development Program 1985-1989, Greeley, Colorado (1984) 8. Transportation Research Record 831, Rural Public Transportation Conference Proceedings, Integration of Public and School Transportation, Hohenlohe, Germany, Washington, D.C. (1981) 9. Telephone conversation with Joe Travis of Atlanta School District, Atlanta, Georgia, September 10, 1984. (404/659-3381) 10. Conversation with Paul Butler of the Minot Bus System, September 12, 1984 (701/455-8301) 11. u.s. Department of Transportation, School Bus Use for Non-School Transportation, Consortium for Technology Initiatives, Washington, D.C. (September 1980) 12. u.s. Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Transportation Energy Contingency Planning, Washington, D.C. (August 1982) 13. "When Public Interests Collide" Metropolitan (November-December 1984) 14. Branscombe, Art "Board of Education Member to

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92 Recommend Seatbe1ts for Buses" in The Denver Post, November 10, 1984, p. 4A

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93 APPENDIX

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RESOLUTION 3 1 1 ,984 A RESOLUTION STATING THE CITY OF GREELEY'S POSITION REGARDING A CONSOLIDATION OF THE CITY OF GREELEY AND SCHOOL DISTRICT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WHEREAS, the City of Greeley has sought and received federal funds levelop a city-wide bus system; and WHEREAS, with those funds, the City has an outstanding transportation system; and WHEREAS, School District 6 presently runs a bus system for the .ents that overlaps the City of Greeley's bus service area; and WHEREAS, the City bus system can provide bus service for those .ents; and WHEREAS, the City of Greeley would l -ike to promote their system to ide service to all of the community; NOW, THEREFORE,_ BE IT RESOLVED that the Greeley City Council is y and willing to participate with School District to whatever extent ible to provide such service. PASSED AND ADOPTED, SIGNED AND APPROVED THIS 7th DAY OF >ruarv , 1984. :sT: CITY OF GREELEY, COLORADO

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PUBLIC SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION ACT CLAIM MUST BE FILED on or before August 15, 1984 . for period of JlJ!y 1' 1983 through June 30 '1984 Melvi n L. Foxhoven 7-17-84 ( N ame or person preparing raporc) (Dace) 352-1 5 43 Wel d Six (Telephone) (Coum:y ) (Sci'lool Disc:ic: Please esti mate t h e a verage number pupils transported dai lv to and from public school at pub! ic expense. 6,000 N umber) 1. Total operating expenditures for pupil transportation ..•. . . . __ 7_8_2_, _4 9_7 _ __.,: 1a. Current operating expenditures for summer migrant education pupil transportation only • .. s N o n e 2. Dollar amount district paid to independent contractor(s) I 5 for pupil transportation . None 3. Multiply 1 ine 2 by 10 percent (.10) • . S 0 ------------------4. Subtract I ine 3 from 1 ine 1 . S 782,497 . s. 6. 7. 8. 9. Mileage traveled for transporting migrant education pupils from home to school, sch ool to school, and school to home when said pupils are regularly enrol led in a migrant education program provided by the school dis:rict with state and federal migrant education funds ! dur1ng July and August 1983 and June, 1984. , , , . . None Mileage traveled for transporting special education pupi Is onl v from home to school, sch ool to school, and j schoo l to home • . • . • • • . • . • . • • • • • • • 124,796 Mileage traveled for transporting vocational education I pupils only from attendance center to attendancecenter 7,01 9 Mileage traveled for regular pupil transportation TOTAL mil eage traveled by district for al 1 pupil transportation (Add 1 ines 5, 6, 7, and 8) .••. 2 7 0 , 461 40 2 276 10. Divide line 4 by I ine 9 (Average cost per mile) (5/4 round from 5 places to 4 places) ... s 1.9452 11. Multiply I ine 6 by I ine 10 (Special education pupil transportation enti clement) ..•••.••• . s 242,753.18

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2. Multiply I ine 6 by forty cen (S .40) . . . . . . . . . $ 49' 918.40 . 3. Subtract 1 ine 12 from 1 ine 1 1 (Special education pupi I transportation excess cost) • . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 192,834.78 Subtract 1 ine 1 3 from I ine 4 (Special education pup i I transportation excess cost deduction). . . . . . . . . . s 589,662.22 ,. Multiply I ine 7 by I ine 10 (Vocational education pupil transportation center to center expenditures).' ••... s ____ ' Multiply line 7 by forty cents($ .40).... . S 2,807.60 Subtract I ine 16 from I ine 15 (Vocational Education Act reimbursable transportation expendit:ures) ••.••.•.. Is 10,845.76 I. Percent:age of expenditures to be reimbursed by Colorado Vocational Act (percentage from October 1983 worksheet issued by S8CCOE). I' \.... 33.67 j; Multiply I ine 17 by 1 ine 18. . . . . . s __ 3_,_6_5_1_. _77 __ Subtract I ine 19 from 1 ine 14 (Net current operating expenditures for pupil transportation) ....•••..• S 586,010.45 Multiply 1 ine 9 by forti cents (S .40) (Mileage reimbursement) S 160,910.40 Subtract I ine 21 from line 20. $ 425,100.05 -------Multiply I ine 22 by twenty-five percent (.25) (Excess cost reimbursement) • • •.•.•••••.•••••••... S 106,275.01 Add I ine 21 and I ine 23 (Mileage reimbursement plus excess cost reimbursement). . . . . . • • . . S 267,185 .41 Multiply 1 ine 20 by ninety percent (.90) (Maximum reimbursement) •.•••.••. . s 527,409.41 Enter SMALLER of 1 ine 24 or I ine 25 •• . .. s 267,185.41 Pupi I days that the school dist:rict paid board in 1 ieu of transportation multiplied by one dollar ($1.00) •••• Add 1 ine 26 and I ine 27 (Pupil transportation reimbursement entitlement) ••.. $ Is None 267,185.41 ===== to the of our knowZecqe the data in thi3 are a:n.d. the pupil. proqrcm has been operat2d in compliance wi:;h the of the State Soard of Sducation. n COE-40 ised 3/84

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.... of ..:ui' . ' :;, .,; i , : :a; ;a,: :a:. Clint Anthis 8 3 7-lOOO. ext. Denver ?Teasa estimate :;,e 3ver3ge of -:a i f , and fl"em l i c s.:!'!co 1 at i i e -a.xcen sa • iota! ••.. 1a. O!=el"'3t ing For-migrant August 8, 1984 One 21, i 5 9 ' 704' s 19. 2 9 ::uoil cnly. • ••.• _________ _ 2. Jollar arr:cunt cis:ri .:-: ::a i-: :o inceoend!!nt c:nt:-ac::r-(s) for-;uci i 3. line Z 10 (.10) 4. Subtnc:: line 3 f:-::m ti.,e 1. ... '. i s 80,581.55 S 8,058.16 . s 9,696,461.13 :-!i rol" i T s f :-om i'lc:::r.e :c ; .::-:col , l s c::-:co i , sc:!'lool :o •..oroen sai:! al"'! in a educ:.at icn Ol"'ovicied ::y !.:Mcol distl"ic; . ..,i::-t s:ata and • :-tig:-an: during Juiy and Augus: ;=83 and 19a.:. •••••• 6. Tea<;e ::-a'laled for" ::-3nsoo,..:ing soec:ial !dl.Oc:a: i cn fr-cm s.:::cel, sc;,col :o se::eol, ar.d l 1.:!'1oe I ::o • . • . • • • • • • • • • • • • . . • ;....' _ 1.;..,_2_6_3.;.,_6_8_0_._7 __ _. i. .11 it 1 for" 'ICca: i c:-:al i en ... -------;:u::: its en 1 , , :: cant!!:1 : ==2:2:6:': 7:8:3:.:7=== ... "'. iC'i.ll. 'Tti! ea<;e i ':y :l"ans;cr:ation I . . . : as;:-rc-: -.. ', : ' a 1 i :uc i i and 3) TO. line 4 :v : ::er-.-:1iie) (S/4 round fr"cr.t S p l acas olacas) 11. Tine 5 Tine TO (S:ecial :u:il • ..•••••• 4,197,259.2 . . . s 2 3 1 0 2 2.9l9.3SS.l 5 '\ J

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line 12 line 1i . • • • s __ 2_._4_1_3_,_8_a_2_._a_7_ . . . . s __ 7_._2_a_2_._s_7_8;...._2_6_ line 7 by li:-:a 1 0 ('lecational eeuc3t: cn :ucil r-tat ion :o can ax;:ena i : •Jres) . I ina 7 for-ty (S .!o.O) ••••• Suetrae: I ine 16 rr-em ! ine 15 (Vocational Educ:3t i on s 523,915.70 s __ • .;..71;.;3;.;;._4..;.8 _ Is 433,202.22 tac;e 0 r a.x;:end i :o = i mcursad :v 1 Ol"'lCO '/oca t i en a I Ac: Cc::cer i983 i :y SSC:O::) . 35.56 1 ine 17 1 ine 1a. . . . . . s __ .;.15;;..4....o';.;;0;...4..;;.6....o. 7,;...1;... Suct:-ac: 1 ine 19 fr-om line (Net curr-ent for-::-ans;:or-:ation) .•• ••••.• S 7,128,531.55 _ I ine 9 :y for-:y cants (S .4a) S 1,678,903.68 _ __; _ _.;. __ _ I i -ne 21 I ine 20. S 5,449,627.87 ------11ne 21 ;-.. .. t'lty•five (.25) (Exc4SS ra i ::-:i:ur'!amer! :) • • . . • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • S 1,362,406.97 . ACe iine 21 and 1 ine 23 (Mileac;e excess c::s: • • • • • ••••• s ___ 3_,o_4_1_._3_1_o_.6_s __ reimcursament) • of ! i ne Z4 or-I i 25. • • • 1 1au :r mul:i;llied by :ne .:!ollat" ( S1.CQ) •••• Tine Z6 and line Zi tl"'lnscor-:ation t i : l • • • • • 6,415,678.40 . . )---------------s_...;3;..:':..;;;o_;,4.;.1 .;.;' 3;..;1;.;.o_ • .;;.:6 s:... ! s :; I • i===3==0=4=1=,3=1=0==65= 21 111, ,.,1.61 ?7.t..t.>.; ... .,_..:..J _.., .-r._ .. ......... -i!.--:. ... ..:--... .,., __ •• --011! .,.., 4 ... ---..... ., _ _, .,, .. _..., ._..._ ....... ., .• \ ., •• _""' .. ':'....,_.., ........ s ............ ..._,......._ •....... ,: -;:,__ -;.-2 -:.t:7.; --..,.......s-a ..... ::r. -.,...... ........ ..-;-..::,3 .. :;, ;,;:.a;-,...,;;.-;.a /!7.:.;;,;....,._ . / f --/ . . u ad