Empty School Bus - Why?

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11 years 7 months ago #25280 by PeterNZ
Sorry if that is a stupid question but we do not have children so I don't really know how this system works.

Every morning the school bus passes our gate - empty. After some time he comes back - still empty. So obviously nobody is using the bus. There are 2 - 3 children in the afternoon in the bus though.

So how does this work? Is a school bus just like a normal bus which runs by a schedule and drives the route every day no matter if anyone uses it or not? Is there some sort of booking system? E.g. you have to book the trips or let the school know that you are planning to use the bus?

I would have thought that parents sign up their children and then they (the school? the council? Who runs this service?) work out a route to pick them all up. Do parents have to pay for the service? Do they have to pay even if their children are not taking the bus?

Who pays for this? I assume I do with my rates. Is this correct?

It looks to me like a huge waste of money/energy/diesel/time and produces even more air pollution etc.

Sorry, so many questions. But I really would like to know more about this.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 7 months ago #354398 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Ring up the school and ask. The way it works varies from place to place and depending on if it's rural or urban. Our one is owned and run by the school. It's not a school bus but a courstesy coach. That way there are a lot less regulations to deal with. You are not paying for yours in your rates but in your tax to central government. It is part of the education funding.

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11 years 7 months ago #354405 by PeterNZ
Replied by PeterNZ on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Thanks igor. But to be honest, I have better things to do. I am just curious. And I thought someone might have a useful answer to my questions.

If I would ring up councils, companies and governmental departments with every question I have I would sit on the phone 24/7.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 7 months ago #354409 by sarniagirl
Replied by sarniagirl on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Our Rural bus is always really full.
The other day the children were all late for school .....a farmer waved them down to see a late set of black lambs being born.The farmers wife rang the school and even gave them tea and cakes.
Thats why i live in the country.Lovely

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11 years 7 months ago #354417 by Seaside
Replied by Seaside on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Hi Peter

If you live a certain distance from the school (I think it's 3km), you are entitled to a free school bus service. With ours, we arrange it with the school. If your child is not going home on the bus on a particular day for some reason, you have to let the school know because they have monitors who tick everyone off a list as they get on the bus at the end of the school day, to make sure no-one gets left behind.

Ours bus is always looks full and we are about half way along the route. Pick up and drop off at the gate, in our case (as we are on the main road), not sure how it works for kids who live off the route, but I'm sure they it work out to take in everyone in the school zone who has registered to go on the bus, even if someone lives a few km off the route and has to get their kid to the nearest drop off point on the route.

With your empty one, I would guess that the bus driver lives down the road from you and is at the end/beginning of the run when he passes your gate. The bus does the same route whether picking up or dropping off and he keeps the bus on his property when not in use (at least, that's what happens with our school bus). The two or three children that you see in the afternoon probably live between your place and the bus person's place, but their parent drops them off at school in the morning (the morning pick up can be very early).

In the city, everyone would have a school within walking/biking distance. In the country, the school could be up to 40km away. Not everyone has a car, and every child is entitled to an education. I suppose the school bus is how the government makes sure that all children can get to school.

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11 years 7 months ago #354419 by Kiwi303
Replied by Kiwi303 on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Seaside is probably correct on it's being before/after pickup at that point in it's run. Bus routes are allocated by head count, too few down that no exit road and the bus doesn't go over there, they have to come to a closer pickup point on the main road, etc. Or they were when I was at school! Most busses on the routes come reasonably close to capacity.

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11 years 7 months ago #354421 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Yes, Peter, YOU pay for the school bus service.

It is empty when the run starts (or finishes) and the closer it gets to the school the fuller it gets.

The route goes past all the houses where the students live.

Some routes start well before 8am and I've seen school buses between 5 and 5.30pm still carrying students. Parents may opt to drive their children to school themselves instead of putting them onto the bus for a 2 hour plus long ride. However, the bus still has to go past these homes just in case the child takes the bus.

Some parents drive their children a few minutes further towards the school to save them an hour or longer on the bus going down 'no exit' roads'.

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11 years 7 months ago #354426 by beedee
Replied by beedee on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
It will depend where you are in relation to the school. the other thing if it goes by your place with primary school kids you wont see them as their heads dont come up to the window.. so many factors to consider

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11 years 7 months ago #354430 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
My grandson lives within the 3km radius of the school and they pay $20 a term I think to get him there and back from thir gate. The bus he is on does one route for Primary school, drops them all off then goes into town empty to pick up the secondary school pupils.

Sue
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11 years 7 months ago #354434 by Clods
Replied by Clods on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
We used to get a transport allowance, because the bus doesn't come down our road, and we are 10k from the school. But apparently this doesn't continue for High school age kids.

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11 years 7 months ago #354435 by PeterNZ
Replied by PeterNZ on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Thanks for all your answers. But I don't think the bus driver lives down our road. He drives empty past our gate (from Kaitaia) and then about 20 minutes later he comes back empty again and drives towards the town. Since the schools are in town I think it is part of his trip. So I must assume that he drives this route and nobody uses the service. Which is a shame.

Cheers

Peter


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11 years 7 months ago #354437 by Isla
Replied by Isla on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Perhaps he drives up your road for another reason altogether!!! :p [}:)]

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11 years 7 months ago #354440 by Anne
Replied by Anne on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
Is there a school further up the road from you? Could he be picking kids up and dropping them off either at school or at another stop for another bus, then returning for another run somewhere else?

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11 years 7 months ago #354453 by Xartep
Replied by Xartep on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
I suspect that the children that he has on the bus in the afternoon are delivered to the school in the mornings by their parents, but there is no checking system for the AM run so he has to go to their stop every morning just in case the parents want to put them on the bus.

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11 years 7 months ago #354491 by Jan
Replied by Jan on topic Empty School Bus - Why?
We live at the endish of our bus route. As its a dead end they have a set turning point. So in the morning, they have to go to the end turn around and carry on back down picking up as they go on the way to school. I dont think they can pick up whilst they go to the turning only on the way to school.

We do have 1 family up from us so sometimes its has 2 kids, other times our lot our first. But there are a number of houses between us and the end of the bus route. So you never know if a new family has moved in. (well we do as we know everyone bus bus people may not)

So I suspect what your seeing is the bus going to its turn point or to the start of the route. Sometimes my kids don't catch the bus so yes it can be empty at start of the route or end if in afternoon.

Or yes maybe not many catch the bus but they have to supply one i guess.

Oh the other thing is our bus leaves at 7.40 which is quite early.. sometimes littlies find it hard to get that bus early so parents drop them off later...

Jan

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