More Dixie Students Riding the Bus this Year, Report Says

The program's cost decreased by approximately 22 percent thanks to the Dixie School District's efforts to offer more options to bus riders.

More students in the Dixie Elementary School District are using the school bus compared to last year, thanks to efforts from district officials to increase awareness about their transportation program.

For the 2011-12 school year, total ridership increased by 9.4 percent and total passes sold increased by 4.5 percent, according to a report presented to the district earlier this month. New efforts to offer several different bus passes and the consolidation of some bus routes brought the total cost of the program down by nearly 22 percent from three year before.

“There’s been a lot of work on promoting this program in the last few years, and we were able to go beyond our goals because of that,” Dixie Business Manager Robert Marical said.

State money as well as bus passes and individual tickets fund the transportation program. In the pass three years, state officials cut approximately 20 percent from the district’s for transportation. Because of this decrease, the program does not break even and money from the district’s General Fund pays for the gap, according to Marical.

Thanks to the lower program cost, the amount transportation encroaches upon the General Fund decreased by 58 percent, exceeding the district’s goal by over $20,000, according to the report.

The district operates a fleet of 24 school buses. Dixie Elementary saw the largest increase in ridership with a 33 percent increase from the prior year. Miller Creek Middle School’s ridership went down by 5 percent. Sales from semester-long passes decreased by 39 percent, as opposed to one-way morning or afternoon passes that each increased by approximately 30 percent. Prices range from $225 to $399.

If you are interested in buying a bus pass, visit the Dixie School District's website for details.

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