Changes may be coming to Miami-Dade County's bus routes
Miami-Dade County officials are thinking of redesigning some of the bus routes that course through the city. Some proposed changes would increase bus frequency to popular stops and remove or alter less traveled routes.
All Miami-Dade County Public Schools students may be able to sleep in a little later next school year.
The School Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to explore later school start times beginning in August 2020. The goal, said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, is to start all schools no earlier than 8 a.m.
“I think that would be a terrific advantage at many, many levels,” he said.
According to two proposed models, elementary schools could be pushed back to 8 a.m. so middle and high schools could start at 8:30 or 9:30. If high schools were to start at 9:30 a.m., they could dismiss as late as 4:10 p.m. Those times could be shifted earlier or later.
The district plans on creating a task force to settle on the 2020-21 bell schedule. That task force, scheduled to meet for the first time in December, will be comprised of students, parents, teachers, labor groups, athletic coaches and representatives from the county’s transportation department. A recommendation from the task force is expected to go before the board by April.
Later school start times, however, mean a countywide logistical shift. Carvalho says that shortening the windows between pick-up and drop-off times for elementary, middle and high school could mean that 40 bus routes are freed up to offer transportation to students in choice programs. That could save the district $3 million, a conservative estimate, he said.
Carvalho called the move a “cost-benefit analysis wrapped around science and convenience.”
The district would have to work with the county to coordinate school speed zones and crossing guards accordingly. And it may have to use some of its $2 billion general obligation bond money to add lighting for later school days [continues in comments section]
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