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New Calgary busing fees announced for fall

Click to play video: 'Calgary Board of Education changing start and end times for certain schools' Calgary Board of Education changing start and end times for certain schools
WATCH ABOVE: The Calgary Board of Education has announced that school times are changing for a lot of students. Mia Sosiak reports – May 16, 2017

The Calgary Board of Education  (CBE) has set transportation fees for students for the upcoming school year.

Students from Kindergarten to Grade 9 that use yellow buses and attend a Regular Program school will not pay any transportation fee if they live more than 2.4 kilometres away from their school.

Students who are 1.6 to 1.8 km away will pay $335 for the school year, the same amount as the current year.

READ MORE: Calgary students claim they were forced to ride home on the bus floor

Students in Grades 6 to 9 students who qualify for busing, but use Calgary Transit will pay $151 a year after getting a rebate from the CBE. The same is true for high school students.

Alternative program students will pay $335 per year if they use a yellow bus, and $700 a year if they use Calgary Transit.

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CBE Chief Superintendent David Stevenson said because of an increase in provincial funding, the school board will not have to dip into its operational funding to provide transportation.

“They have provided additional funding for the 2017/18 school year, so that additional funding plus the service changes that we’re talking about will allow us to either maintain, to reduce or to eliminate fees,”  he said.

The CBE’s transportation budget is about $48 million.

The school board is also adjusting bell times and making greater use of congregated bus stops this fall.

The impact on individual schools will vary. Many schools will see no change to their entry or dismissal times. Changes to bell times of more than 31 minutes will not take effect until the 2018-19 school year.

Bell times will be adjusted so that two schools will be serviced by one yellow bus. This reduces the number of buses the CBE will have to pay for – a move the school board believes will save $5 million.

Congregated bus stops will be expanded. This year, 6,200 students are gathering at these stops to catch the bus. In September an additional 6,000 students will use congregated stops.

The changes announced Tuesday are part of a move toward a long-term sustainable transportation plan for the public system.

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“We have gone the road that we identified and had parent support to go down,” said Stevenson.

“This, from my perspectiv,e is a significant step forward for the sustainability of our transportation services.”

With files from Aurelio Perri – News Talk 770

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