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Bumpy Bus Routes Being Ironed Out

The Marlborough School District has responded to over 80 requests from parents for bus route changes.

A rough beginning has lead to many hours responding to parent input as bus routes continue to be tweaked in the district.

"We experienced a rocky road," said Marlborough High School Assistant Principal Dan Riley at the school committee meeting last week.

At the time, Riley reported he had responded to 80 of roughly 100 requests for stop modifications. Three more buses have been added to the half day kindergarten route, with four more buses in the afternoon to help alleviate pressure on the elementary school routes.

"Most importantly, the community is being heard and we are responding to their concerns and they have a direct line," said Riley who explained that a great amount of his time has gone into working on the bus routes.

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Examining requests involves reviewing the route and the stop location along with representatives from North Reading Transportation to see if the stop location is safe or if there needs to be a new one. The traffic maping program used for the bus mapping does not necessarily communicate whether a road is heavily trafficked or an intersection dangerous, said Riley.

"That is where we rely on feedback from the community," he said.

Riley will continue handling the busing responsibilities for the meantime, but those repsponsibilities will be shifted to the district's business manager who has experience managing bus routes, said Superintendent of Schools Stephen Dlott.

"We are constantly discussing these routes," he said.

The bus routes are available on the district's website. Riley is still the contact for any concerns and may be reached at driley@mps-edu.org.

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