Tulsa School Tries To Resolve Traffic Issues With Shuttle Buses

Monday, April 27th 2015, 6:35 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa Public Schools loaded up kids on buses Monday to try out a new remote pickup concept for Zarrow International School. Students will meet their parents at Whiteside Park.

The school district is trying to resolve issues with traffic around Zarrow - so they'll shuttle some of their students over to the park after school.

When school was out at Zarrow, a whole group of kids who don't normally ride the bus - went out to see their new ride. About 50 Zarrow students, ones normally picked up by parents after school, instead will take a school bus shuttle off site.

It's a new idea to relieve the traffic that's been a problem at Zarrow for several years.

"We're hopeful that we can reduce at least 20 percent of the congestion, when you look at taking 50 students that we'll be transporting, and essentially what we're doing is taking that parking lot at the back of the school and moving it a mile away," said Rosalyn Vann-Jackson, Tulsa Public Schools.

The school already has the different grades go out separate doors to meet their parents, but that only organizes the traffic. The new plan should eliminate some of it - cars that create backups sometimes a half mile down the road - past two private schools that also add to the traffic.

4/24/2015 Related Story: TPS Using Afternoon Shuttle To Help Traffic Flow

"It's pretty bad and I feel that the community here, most of the neighbors don't have kids here, because they're older and they get frustrated with us - but it's only for about 45 minutes; it's not an all day thing," said one driver.

Monday was a test run to get the riders and drivers familiar with how they'll load up the children - with regular riders in the back, and shuttle riders in the front.

They'll start Tuesday taking third, fourth and fifth graders to Whiteside park to meet parents.

The district plans to have staff members at the new drop off point to make sure it goes smoothly.

"Not a big fan of that idea," said another driver. "It doesn't affect me this year, it will next year; mine's a second grader, but for me it will be further away to drive to get him, so I'm not a big fan."

The idea for the shuttle came in part through the work of a new consultant group that TPS hired to revamp the bus system.

They have more ideas on rescheduling buses being considered now, though the district isn't ready yet to talk about what those changes will be.