HomeDeptford NewsBus stop consolidation confronted at latest Deptford BOE meeting

Bus stop consolidation confronted at latest Deptford BOE meeting

This year, the district implemented a new route for the district bus stops which have altered routes and have moved previous bus stops to new locations.

During the latest Deptford Township School District Board of Education meeting, a resident questioned the board about the district’s increased consolidation of bus stops.

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This year, the district implemented a new plan for the bus stops, which has altered routes and moved previous bus stops to new locations.

Heather McGrath, a resident of Deptford and mother of Sadie, a seventh-grade student at Monongahela Middle School, is one of the residents affected by the consolidation of bus stops. 

The new bus stops moved her daughter’s current stop much farther away than it was in past years.

McGrath expressed her concern during the public comment section of the meetings. She mentioned the new bus route has forced her daughter to walk roughly a half-mile to the closest bus stop. 

Sadie lives on the back street of Bexhill Farms, off Good Intent Road, on the same block as Good Intent Elementary school. There are two entrances in her neighborhood. From both of those entrances, Sadie’s home is approximately half a mile away.   

In prior years, Sadie, as well as three other middle school students in the back of Bexhill Farms, had bus stops in the back of the neighborhood close to where they reside.  Since the consolidation, the students in her neighborhood now have to walk to either entrance on Good Intent Road. 

According to conversations with board members and McGrath, the same bus route picks up other students at several stops within one neighborhood. She expressed her belief the bus routes are inconsistent between neighborhoods because of the multiple bus stops in one neighborhood and a lack thereof in Bexhill. 

McGrath said her inquiries to the transportation department were not responded to in a timely manner. Because of the lack of response, she took upon herself to follow behind her daughter’s bus during the route. After she followed the route, she found that it was only her neighborhood that was not driven through after the consolidation. 

“I am fine if there’s consolidation that is consistent throughout. I am not OK if it feels like it’s just coming after us,” said McGrath during the meeting.

The district stated that it gets suggestions for new bus routes very frequently and it has accommodated the public requests. It constantly updates its bus stops as a result of traffic and efficiency-related issues. For example, decreasing bus stops on main roads after complaints of slow-moving traffic for work commuters. 

“The bus stops that we’ve created in the middle of the development does achieve the effect that everyone in the back of the development doesn’t have to walk far, and it’s equitable for everybody to reach that street,” said Business Administrator Todd Reitzel. 

The district said it is going to revisit the issue and communicate with McGrath within the week about changes that can potentially be made. 

The next BOE meeting is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Administration Building, located at 2022 Good Intent Road. 

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