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CCS Won’t Use COTA for High School Transportation

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman CCS Won’t Use COTA for High School TransportationPhoto by Anne Evans.
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Columbus City Schools will not use COTA to transport high school students during the 2021-2022 school year.

Transportation administrators spoke to the Columbus Board of Education in June and put forth the recommendation that high school students use COTA to get to and from school for the upcoming school year, with students K-8 continuing to use yellow buses.

The proposal was in response to a bus driver shortage facing school districts across the country, including Columbus City Schools. The district reported 612 active bus drivers who would need to cover around 704 school bus routes in addition to call-offs.

The district did not take action on the proposal at the time. Alternative solutions were announced during an Aug. 3 Columbus Board of Education meeting.

CCS will recruite new drivers and trainees and contract vendors for some bus and special education van routes. The district will also make changes to its bus routes by contracting Massachusetts-based technology and consulting firm Dynamic Ideas Routing in the amount of $326,860 to develop more efficient routing solutions.

The district has 583 active bus drivers and an additional 25 were approved during Tuesday’s board meeting. The district has conducted over 180 interviews for driver trainees and over 140 have moved on to the next phase of training, said Dr. Talisa Dixon, CCS superintendent and chief executive officer.

She said a volunteer CDL class is being held two nights a week to help potential drivers obtain their permits as well.

Earlier this summer, Columbus City Schools sent opt-out surveys to the families of students who are eligible for transportation, 256 of which identified an alternative way for their students to get to school.

The district sent out a similar survey to charter and non-public schools and the families of those students who are also eligible for transportation provided by CCS, as per Ohio law.

For more information visit ccsoh.us.

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