This is an archive of information shared with families during the fall of 2022.
We are facing a significant shortage of school bus drivers as we begin the 2022-23 school year. While the City continues to recruit bus drivers, it is time for us to try new strategies such as:
Our old transportation model is not going to work for this fall or the future, and we are committed to working together to find solutions. We particularly want to minimize the equity impact of these changes. We have spent the summer in conversation with families, community partners and the City of Charlottesville. We look forward to continuing to build on ideas that make our schools and city safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly.
The revised walk zones are about 0.75 miles for elementary schools (about 20 minutes), and 1.25 miles for Walker, Buford, and CHS (about 30 minutes). These distances are on the lower range of schools across the region and country, and these expanded walking (or “family responsibility”) zones are an important part of addressing the bus driver shortage. In some cases we have rounded up to get to the end of a cul-de-sac or natural neighborhood boundary. In a few cases with CHS students, we have extended the walk zone as high as 1.6 miles if the path is very walkable. We have stayed within or close to our projected time estimates for the walk.
If you have questions about why you are in a walk zone or don’t believe your child’s route is safe and can’t find a safe alternative, please contact email@example.com or call 434-245-2400.
We have created maps with commonly used walking routes to our elementary schools and middle school (based on distance, sidewalks, and crossing guards), but there may be other routes that your family prefers.
Click on the links below for printable PDFs and images of our maps:
Please consider the following:
Have suggestions to improve these maps? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes about the project statuses:
Remember, even if you live in the “bus zone,” there is a possibility that your child will not be assigned to the bus when school starts on August 24:
Even with these changes, bus space will still be limited. Re-register your children now to help the City plan the routes. The “Type A” buses will not be available at the start of the year, so thanks for your continued patience.
Click on image to find full map.
We have been in conversation with parents, community members, and the City about intersections and sidewalks that need enhancement. The City has been supportive and has made a list of scheduled improvements (see below). We meet with the City regularly to propose additional solutions and get status updates, and we will update this list about once a week. Thanks to the City and to community members for doing this research and advocacy!
If there are issues with these walk zones, let’s work together to find solutions. We will continue to work with families and the City to make improvements. As we learn more and as the City addresses known issues, we may expand these walk zones further. Please remember, our expanded walk zones are still on the “short” side of regional and national averages.
Read below for the original information we shared with families back in June. And join us at our final meeting to discuss these changes:
As we look to fall 2022, our school bus challenges appear to be worse, not better. While the City will continue to recruit bus drivers, it is time for us to try new strategies such as
Our old transportation model is not going to work for this fall or the future, so come help us find ways that make our schools and city safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly. We particularly want to minimize the equity impact of these changes. Look below for the dates and details for community “Talk and Walk” sessions, or sign up to learn more or work to be part of the solution!
Attend our Work Sessions (actually, they are “Talk and Walk” Sessions)
We’ll also be at “Healthy Streets, Healthy People” (organized by Move2HealthEquity and WellAWARE), Washington Park, July 16, 9am-1pm
Other Ways to Help and Stay Tuned
Want to work towards a more walkable, bikable Charlottesville? Consider joining the Piedmont Mobility Alliance. We’ll also be be at the “Healthy Streets, Healthy People” event sponsored by Move2HealthEquity and WellAWARE at Washington Park on July 16, 9am-1pm!
New York Times, Aug. 27, 2021
We have looked at other college towns to see what is in place in similar communities. We need your help to work out the details, but here’s what we’re planning:
|Charlottesville Current||.3 mile elementary/.5 Buford/Walker/.7 mile CHS|
|Albemarle||.5 – .7 mile elementary/1 – 1.2 miles all other|
|Alexandria City||1 mile elementary/ 1.5 miles high school|
|Arlington||1 mile elementary/ 1.5 miles all other grades|
|Fairfax||1 mile elementary/1.5 miles all other grades|
|Loudon||1 mile elementary/1.25 miles all other grades|
|Manassas||1 mile all students|
|Richmond||1 mile elementary, 1.5 miles all other grades|
|Waynesboro||1 mile all students|
|Average Excluding Cville Current||.94 mile elementary, 1.28 mile all other grades|
|New Charlottesville||.75 mile elementary, 1.25 mile Walker/Buford/CHS|
Click on image to find full map.
More about Mini Type A School Buses
These transportation challenges are real – and the expanded walk zones impact many of our black and brown students. Let’s work together to find solutions.
We appreciate a carpool, and yes, there’s an app for that! In fact, there are a lot of free apps. We hesitate to endorse a single solution, but we know that the apps will work best if people agree on one or two to use. PTOs may wish to investigate and make a school or division-wide recommendation.
Other possibilities include
We are still working on details – join us at “Talk and Walk” work sessions followed by a community walk to a school
Get connected with the Piedmont Mobility Alliance
If we do this right, rethinking how students get to and from school will have long-term benefits for our community: