Lee's Summit Journal

New bus routes mean ‘gift of time’ for secondary students

The average school bus ride for Lee’s Summit secondary students will be cut by more than half next year.
The average school bus ride for Lee’s Summit secondary students will be cut by more than half next year. File photo

The average school bus ride for Lee’s Summit secondary students will be cut by more than half next year, but students likely will have to walk a little farther to their bus stops.

The R-7 school district said that travel times for middle and high school students have increased along with growth in the district.

“During the 2018-2019 school year, secondary ride times have averaged over 50 minutes one-way, with some rides being an hour or more,” the district said in a news release.

But with alterations in routing and the placement of bus stops, the district says it can cut the average one-way bus trip to 20 minutes.“This means students will get to sleep later and get home sooner, which is especially impactful to the students (especially those who get on first in the morning and off last in the afternoon),” the district said.

Under the new plan, bus stops will be 1,200 feet apart. The average walk to a stop, which previously was 264 feet, will increase to 792 feet. To shorten travel paths, the district aimed to avoid turnarounds, cul-de-sacs and dead-ends, as well deadheading and duplication of miles.

“We hope these adjustments reflect the ‘gift of time’ for our secondary students,” the district said.

The district provides free transportation for students who live a half-mile or more from school.

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