Learn about school transportation

Mike Nelson, Transportation Director
Cambridge-Isanti Schools

Every weekday of the year, including many Saturdays, school buses of the Cambridge-Isanti School District are out on the roads of our community.

Transportation continues after the traditional school years ends in June for Summer School and Special Education programs, Community Education programs and the Districts Year Round School Option program.

Last year ISD 911 logged 901,000 miles providing transportation to all of the student programs and activities of the district including; to and from school, sports and activities. That is a lot of miles. The Transportation Department is frequently asked; what are other districts doing, and how do we compare?

There are 337 regular public school districts in the state of Minnesota. They range in geographical size from 2.69 square miles in St. Anthony-New Brighton to 4,201 square miles in St. Louis County.

The Cambridge-Isanti School District is 248 square miles in size. That puts Cambridge-Isanti in the top one-third of all Districts in Minnesota as far as geographic size. The student population of our district is approximately 5,026. That puts the district in the top one-third for the number of students transported. In fact, Cambridge-Isanti ranks as the 35th largest public school transporter in the state.

Cambridge-Isanti is a large district geographically and it is one of the larger districts in the state for the number of students transported, but where does it rank in cost to transport students? Including the depreciation cost of buses, the transportation cost per student for Cambridge-Isanti is $328.35. Cambridge-Isanti is in the bottom 10 percent in cost per student. We are actually 267th in cost/ student out of 337.

Our school district does a great job in controlling the cost of transportation by using a one pass system. A one pass system means that all students (K-12) are picked up by one bus in an area and brought to a transfer hub where some of those students may have to transfer to another bus to get to their assigned school. The one pass systems controls cost by eliminating the number of driver hours and bus miles going back to or fromĀ  the starting or ending place of the routes empty. It saves miles, fuel and driver hours.

Data used is from the MN Department of Education FY11 Pupil Transportation Data Report.