KELLER, Texas — Keller Independent School District's (KISD) board of trustees met on Monday to approve a new pay-for-ride bus transportation system in the wake of approximately $32 million in budget cuts.
Regular bus transportation — free transportation to and from school for students outside a two-mile radius of their campus — was one of the items designated for reduction with a majority of voters' rejection of KISD's tax ratification election in June.
Rather than eliminate the program, the board directed KISD administration to explore the possibilities of a fare-based transportation system, in which families could pay for their students to continue riding the bus.
The costs for the program would be as follows:
● $185 per semester, per student
● $135 per semester for additional riders in the same family
● $100 per semester for students who qualify for free/reduced lunch
A monthly payment option was also announced Tuesday afternoon. With each semester broken into four monthly periods, families would have the following options:
● $48 per month, per student
● $36 per month for additional riders in the same family
● $27 per month for students who qualify for free/reduced lunch
The new transportation system will issue radio frequency identification card to student bus riders. Durham School Services will contract that aspect of the program with Radiant Systems. Radiant will provide a payment portal for parents to pay online prior to the start of school.
Durham will operate 72 regular routes to begin the 2011-12 school year, though routes will be continually evaluated and changed as needed.
Routes serving special-education students will continue to operate free of fare as they have in past years.
KISD's board also looked at other aspects of the budget Monday night. It gave the approval for $500,000 in over-identified cuts to be used to supplement the cost of reducing bus fare for free/reduced and multi-rider families.