Fresno Unified School District will add six bus routes beginning Monday to reduce walking distance for middle and high school students by a half mile.
This brings to 80 the number of bus routes in the district.
The new routes approved by school trustees Wednesday are for students attending Fort Miller, Tioga, Scandinavian and Kings Canyon middle schools, and Roosevelt and Sunnyside high schools. They are at fblinks.com/bus.
Students in those grades have had to walk two miles to school. The new routes cut the distance to 1-1/2 miles.
The walking distance for elementary students remains one mile.
About 450 middle and high school students are expected to ride the bus to school because of the shorter walking distance, said Karin Temple, assistant superintendent of operational services.
The district has hired six drivers for the new routes but is using existing buses.
Funds from Proposition 30, approved by voters in November, will pay for the added routes.
About $350,000 a year has been allocated, Temple said.
Trustee Carol Mills had pushed for a shorter walking distance for middle and high school students at a special board meeting in September when trustees discussed recommendations for using Prop. 30 funds.
After Wednesday's meeting, Mills said reducing the 2-mile walking distance would improve safety and attendance.
"We have students walking in the dark during the winter," she said. "The more we can reduce that distance, the more likely our students will be safer and more likely to attend school every day."
New Fresno Unified bus routes start Monday.
-- Fort Miller Middle, pick up at Heaton Elementary School (San Pablo side), 7:15 a.m./2:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
-- Kings Canyon Middle, pick up at Roosevelt High (Barton and Huntington avenues), 7:38 a.m./2:53 p.m. and 4:23 p.m.
-- Roosevelt High, Gearhart Street and Townsend Avenue, 7:19 a.m./4:33 p.m.
-- Scandinavian Middle, Clinton and Ninth avenues (just west of McLane stadium), 7:25 a.m. and 7:30 a.m./2:39 p.m. and 5:10 p.m.
-- Sunnyside High, Willow and Truman avenues (Terronez Middle School), 7:17 a.m./2:25 p.m. and 3:58 p.m.
-- Tioga Middle, Gettysburg and Chestnut avenues, 7:29 a.m./2:39 p.m., 3:55 p.m. and 5:10 p.m.; at Gettysburg and Woodrow avenues, 7:31 a.m./2:41 p.m., 3:57 p.m. and 5:12 p.m.; Dakota and Ninth avenues, 7:38 a.m./2:47 p.m., 4:02 p.m. and 5:17 p.m.
For further information, call the Fresno Unified transportation department at (559) 457-3138.