GASTONIA, N.C. — Statewide budget cuts have prompted Gaston County Schools to reduce its elementary bus stops in an effort to save money and increase efficiency.
Officials said that the school district can no longer afford to have school buses stop at every household, and that having fewer stops will save the district close to $200,000 a year.
The changes, which will begin with the 2011-12 school year, will also reduce bus trip time by 15 percent and reduce the need to idle buses.
Under the new bus route plan, no elementary student will be required to walk farther than one-fifth or two-tenths of a mile to a bus stop.
School transportation officials carefully checked all bus stops this summer to ensure student safety. Specific information about bus stops will be provided to parents during back-to-school orientations and open house programs this month.
In 2009, Gaston County Schools changed bus stops for middle and senior high schools to save money, and there were no major problems, officials said.