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Recent boundary changes for Wichita Public Schools will result in about $350,000 in additional costs for the transportation department.
Most of the uptick in costs comes from needing to make eight more morning and afternoon runs in the district's second tier of routes, creating a need for eight more buses to be available.
"It's a three-tiered transportation system," said Fabian Armendariz, transportation director. "The tiers are by school start time. The first tier is 7 a.m., then the second tier is 8 a.m. and the third tier is our 9 a.m. schools."
About 34 percent of the buses are triple-tiered, and 58 percent are doubled-up. The district uses the tier system to avoid keeping a student on a bus longer than 40 minutes, and to work around varied school start times in the district.
"In an ideal world, a bus would pick up a student for a first tier, then for a second tier school and then end the day with a third tier school," Armendariz said. "Our ultimate goal is maximum efficiency, meaning we prefer all buses to be triple-tiered."
A bus costs $38,000 regardless of how many tiers it runs, Armendariz said. Costs fluctuate from needing more buses or more fuel.
The district transports more than 17,000 students.