More buses result in later morning pickup times in Barrington

Bus access road at high school deemed a success ·

Just a few years ago, some Barrington students were expected to catch the morning bus before 6:30 a.m.

But according to a recent transportation report released by the Barrington School Department, the current earliest bus pick-up time is at about 7 a.m.

Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore said the district has worked hard to increase efficiencies with the bus routes and ensure that morning pickups were at a more reasonable time. 

The district increased its fleet of buses from nine to 11 and also reduced the number the stops on certain routes. 

"Right now I think we've reached the best possible pickup times," said Mr. Messore. 

The transportation report included morning pickup times and drop-offs for all 11 buses during the last week of September and the first week of December. 

The earliest pickup times in the district ranged from 6:49 a.m. at the earliest to 7:24 a.m. The majority of pickups were at about 7 a.m. Barrington High School starts the day at 7:40 a.m. — it is the earliest start time in the district — while the middle school starts at 7:45.

In December, the latest drop-offs ranged from 3:46 p.m. to 4:35. Hampden Meadows School has the latest start and dismissal times in the district — classes start at 8:50 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m.

The transportation report also included the average run times for each of the six public schools. The shortest run times were for the middle and high school students. The morning runs averaged about 20 minutes in September and December, while the afternoon drop-off runs went from 23 minutes in September to 20 minutes in December.

Mr. Messore said the afternoon bus runs for the high school and middle school usually have more students than the morning runs.

The superintendent said the district may have a school transportation consultant take a closer look at Barrington's busing in the near future.

"We'd like to get an outside viewpoint to see if there's any opportunities for additional efficiencies," said Mr. Messore. 

Bus access road

Mr. Messore said the creation of a new bus and emergency vehicle access road at the high school has made life better for the buses and for students and teachers who use the large parking lot at the school.

"It's definitely been an improvement," said Mr. Messore. 

The access road allows school buses to bypass the parking lot entrances and exits during morning drop-off and afternoon dismissal. Mr. Messore said that prior to the construction of the access road, the parking lot exits would often bottle-neck with vehicles trying to leave the lot.

"The busing company is still telling me what a great addition it (the access road) is to the high school," the superintendent added. 

Bus run times

Following is a look at the earliest school bus pickup times in 2015 compared to the earliest pickup times in 2017. (The 2015 pickup times were the listed bus schedule pickups.)

Bus — 2015 pickup — 2017 pickup

1 — 6:44 a.m. — 7:03

2 — 6:41 — 7:00

3 — 6:26 — 7:04

4 — 6:56 — 7:06

5 — 6:43 — 7:02

6 — 6:38 — 7:05

7 — 6:50 — 7:01

8 — 6:58 — 7:04

9 — 6:54 — 7:14

10 —      — 7:04

11 —      — 6:54