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Sarasota Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019 2 months ago

Sarasota schools add transportation help line

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The line can be accessed from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m . Monday through Friday by calling 941-486-2141.
by: Brynn Mechem Staff Writer

When you have trouble finding a bus stop in your neighborhood, who are you going to call? 

Sarasota County Schools’ new transportation help line, of course. 

The help line, which can be reached at 941-486-2141, was installed July 29 as a way to help parents receive important transportation information as school begins. 

“It was created to help improve communication with the parents,” Director of Transportation Jason Harris said. “We want to provide that information and service to parents so that there’s a comfort level with the start of school.” 

The transportation office serves more than 16,000 students — a third of the school district’s population — with more than 200 routes daily. 

Harris said the transportation office gets hundreds of calls each day during the start of the school year. By adding this volunteer-based service, the school district hopes parents will receive the information they seek more quickly than in previous years. 

Parents and guardians can call the line for questions about bus stop locations, pickup and arrival times and bus stop numbers. The line cannot help residents register at a new school or answer what bus zone a family moved to. 

The transportation office will use the first few weeks of school to smooth out bus lines and ensure students are on the best route for their home, Harris said. 

“The first two weeks are critical,” Harris said. “You’ll have students who may have not registered for school and they show up at a bus stop. We don’t leave students, even if they’re not registered on that bus.” 

The help line can be accessed from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will run through Aug. 23, but if it is successful, Harris said the office would most likely bring it back for the 2020-21 school year. 

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