May 14, 2014 11:03 PM by Maddie Garrett
The cost of riding the school bus in Academy School District 20 will be going up for some families, but down for others. It's all because of a new way of charging students to ride the bus, as the district moves away from the per-ride scanning system, to a flat rate per semester.
The scan system was put in place two years ago, when the district decided to start charging to ride the bus, and parents received a monthly bill based on how many times their student rode the bus.
But during this past year, school district leaders ran some tests to see how the RFID scan system was working, and found out that the scanners were not very accurate, missing students when they got on or off the bus.
Transportation leaders decided to do away with the scanning system altogether for next year, and instead start charging a flat rate of $50 for in neighborhood bus riders, and $60 for out of neighborhood, per semester.
For students who ride the bus frequently, this could lower their costs. But it could make it more expensive for infrequent riders, going up from 50 cents a ride to $1.
Parents will be able to buy smaller booklets of 20 bus passes for $20, that way students who only ride the bus every so often will not have to pay for a whole semester. And the booklets won't expire from year to year and can be transferred to other students.
Students who are on free or reduced lunch will not have to pay for the bus passes.
The district said they might look at going back to a scan system later, but for next year this is the system they'll use.