The goal of the UCPS Transportation Department is to maintain a safe, effective and efficient operation for transporting students. State funding for the Transportation Department is based on how efficiently school buses operate. The funding formula consists of various criteria, but the basis is how many students are transported on a specific number of buses.
UCPS currently operates over 300 buses covering 29,000 miles a day and about five million miles during the school year.
In order to maintain this exemplary efficiency rating while addressing growth, controlling spending, and limiting the need for increasing the bus fleet along with all the associated costs for operation, a staggered bell schedule was put in place for schools located in the most densely populated areas. Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, the cluster groups that operated on a staggered bell schedule were Marvin Ridge, Weddington, Monroe, Sun Valley and Porter Ridge.
Schools in the more rural areas, (Parkwood, Piedmont and Forest Hills) will not be able to have staggered bell schedules nor separate middle and high school runs at this time. As these areas continue to experience growth, the implementation of a staggered bell schedule will become more of a possibility. In the meantime, achieving maximum efficiency in the more densely populated areas hopefully will shift resources to the less densely populated areas to reduce student ride time.