Shelton alerts parents to bus route consolidations, stop changes

City of Shelton school buses parked in Shelton, Conn. June 7, 2018.

City of Shelton school buses parked in Shelton, Conn. June 7, 2018.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — With the start of the new school year on Tuesday came new bus stops for some students.

Shelton Student Transportation Services consolidated a number of bus runs and reconfigured some bus stops, a move city officials say will “provide efficient and safe transportation” for students.

“This effort has been completed in an effort to reduce the time our students spend on the bus as well as ensure more efficient bus arrival times,” according to a joint statement from Mayor Mark Lauretti and Superintendent Ken Saranich.

This route consolidation is the result of the city-owned bus company’s work on improving service. Work began before last school year with the updating of routes, a move that dropped some 500 names from the list and made it possible to consolidate routes.

Bus company and school staffers have also been training on the Traversa student transportation software.

Lauretti has stated that implementation of the new technology is not yet ready. The new technology, he said, will include the one-time purchase of hardware to be installed on all buses. The city will pay an annual licensing fee for the software.

Saranich said the bus company is fully staffed, but that does not mean, in some instances, that absences could lead to changes on daily routes.

“Even though we are fully staffed, as with last year, some days it will be hard to find subs and we may face problems,” Saranich said. “We are no different than any other district … but we are in a good spot right now.”

Saranich said the key is alerting parents to the changes to help alleviate any anxiety during the first days of school.

“There are significant changes to bus routes,” Saranich told Board of Education members at their recent meeting, adding that this could lead to some complaints. “Some people may not be happy when the spot that was in front of their house is now down the street.”

Saranich said the moves have been made “in the best interest of efficiency … in the best interest of getting buses to school on time.

“I support the changes that the bus company has made, but I know sometimes change is difficult,” he added.