Hugh Hattabaugh, chief operating officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, talks to a reporter about the district’s new magnet shuttle stops.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Officials at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) reported that the first day of school went smoothly, as thousands of students used new shuttle stops and new transportation routes to get to school.
Facing significant local and state budget reductions, the district established shuttle stops for all students attending full magnet high schools and students at full magnet middle schools who live more than five miles away.
District officials said that the move could save more than $3.5 million.
Parents are responsible for transporting children to and from the shuttle stops, which are at designated CMS schools. The district’s school buses pick up and drop off the students at the shuttle stops.
On Wednesday, the first day of school, students began lining up before dawn at some shuttle stops to catch buses that left as early as 6 a.m. The last student — a sixth-grader — was dropped off at 6:55 p.m., CMS transportation officials said.
The district said that as families adjust to the new shuttle stops, and as the new routes and stops are fine-tuned, transportation time is expected to decline for most students.
“We had a great first day today — thanks to the hard work, smart planning and dedication of the employees of this district,” Superintendent Peter C. Gorman said on Wednesday. “This day was a remarkable accomplishment for several reasons — we’ve made significant changes to transportation, had a reduction in force and significant budget cuts.”
The shuttle sites are monitored by a variety of security personnel, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers and CMS police officers and security associates.