News & Media

Denver Public Schools Holds Successful Practice Runs of New 'Success Express' Shuttle Service

August 7, 2011  |  School Transportation News  |  Link to article

The idea for the "Success Express" came about following discussions between the district's transportation department, then Transportation Director Pauline Gervais, who has since retired and is now a consultant with Education Compliance Group, and the community action group Metro Organizations for People in an effort to provide improved service for students living in the Near Northeast area of Denver. The service essentially consists of circular school bus routes that are spaced about 5 to 10 minutes apart to offer rides to school for any student who needs to take advantage of the program.

Nicole Portee, the director of transportation for Denver Public Schools (DPS), explained that the service works somewhat like fixed-route city buses. DPS ran two tests of the shuttle routes on Aug. 3 and again on Aug. 5. The buses stop at all participating Near Northeast schools, including charter schools.

The service is also open to kindergartners through 12th graders, but the students will, for the most part, be separated by age in correlation to bell times set by the individual schools. Portee added that 14 buses each staffed by a driver and an aide were set to begin the school year, which was scheduled to start on Aug. 10 for schools in the Near Northeast. The rest of the district opens classes on Aug. 18.

The drivers will be responsible for counting each child as he or she boards the bus, and the aides will manage student behavior during the ride and will assist each child with departing the bus. Two weeks worth of classroom and behind-the-wheel training and re-training began on July 15.

Portee said other communities within DPS boundaries have also expressed interest in the "Success Express," and there are plans to eventually open up the service to those areas as well as to mainstreaming students with special needs. One challenge DPS will face in opening up the service to other schools, according to Portee, is dealing with increased road hazards, traffic congestion and railroad crossings than are not as prevalent in the Near Northeast, a more rural part of the district out toward Denver International Airport.

Some 3,000 students are expected to take advantage of the new service.

CLICK HERE for PDF Press Release from DPS & MOP