Somerset School Committee undecided on bus routes, transportation director – News – The Herald News, Fall River, MA

SOMERSET — The School Committee returned to their search for a transportation director, and realized that, while there are many possibilities for regulating busing, at the moment, too many variables stand in the way.

Chairman Victor Machado remembered last meeting’s conversation and the priority for transportation data to be collected. “We are looking for data, and unless we know what data we are looking for, we’ll never be able to make an educated decision for our transportation.”

“I think it’s really necessary to have a transportation consultant. I’m looking to (fill) may be a stipend position,” said Machado. He admitted more research would need to be done, as a full-time position does not represent an affordable option. Although Somerset now owns an excellent software program for mapping bus routes, “the software is great but huge. It’s very cumbersome,” said Director of business and finance, Lindsey Albernaz.

Lately, Albernaz has been using the software to look at existing Fisher bus routes, but the computer-generated routes still leave out roughly 900 students who need to be manually added to routes and busing schedules.

“Other school districts have transportation directors who are well-versed in the software,” said Albernaz, who is interested in asking for the part-time help of an expert from another district to set up and maintain the software program.

“I am going to reach out to people that actively use (the software) in public schools in Massachusetts,” Albernaz said.

Not only is there a need for someone to manage that software, but redistricting may offer new data that could be helpful if it is added to the software database.

Machado said he’s worried time is running out, and that this issue will not be resolved by next school year: “I’m hoping by next meeting we can have a couple of solutions to having someone entering that data in, because it can be costing us money…

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