Paul Revere Middle School Buses Reduce Traffic

By Laurel Busby
Staff Writer

Two years ago, Paul Revere Charter Middle School aimed to reduce traffic congestion around the school, and the effort has paid off.

“Parents and neighbors have seen a dramatic change in the traffic patterns in the neighborhood and surrounding feeder streets,” said parent Matthew Rodman, who is also a member of the school’s transportation committee.

“For example, in past years, students were often late to school due to long lines at drop-off. Now, typically all students are on Revere’s campus about 10 minutes before the bell. No other public school to our knowledge has ever taken on, and successfully executed an endeavor such as this in such a short period of time.”

Parents have paid to have their children bused to Paul Revere, which reduces traffic congestion.

The main catalyst of the change has been “Parent-Sponsored Yellow School Buses.” In 2015, the school started with one such bus carrying fewer than 50 students to and from Holmby Hills. Last school year, three more buses were added, Rodman said. This year the number has jumped to seven buses servicing 370 students, and there is a waiting list for all routes.

To solve Revere’s traffic woes, the transportation committee also looked at other options, including city buses and carpools.

For the 2016-17 school year, this meant that morning trips to school were reduced by 262 and afternoon trips by 281, including 167 kids riding the parent-sponsored buses in both the mornings and afternoons. Other kids rode on L.A. Metro buses (22 morning/32 afternoon), Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (49 morning/58 afternoon) or LAUSD school buses (24 each way).

To improve the public transit options, Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus Line 14, which goes from Culver City to a drop-off in front of the school, began service in 2015, while Line 43 began going from Bergamot Station to Revere in 2016. In addition, four L.A. Metro buses now pick up in front of the school each afternoon to serve both westbound and eastbound Sunset Boulevard.

Also, Carpool to School software helps parents coordinate rides to get their kids to and from school.

“Many of our families have embraced the opportunity to have their child ride on a bus or in a carpool,” said Lori Vogel, Revere’s community liaison and also a transportation committee member. “The increase in buses and carpools has made a noticeable impact on traffic. We are absolutely thrilled with our parent participation this year.”

Rodman added, “Our successful efforts have changed the dynamic in the immediate community, and helped to reduce traffic on the Sunset Corridor.”

The new parent-sponsored buses, which cost parents $1,785 per student for the school year, serve the following areas: Pacific Palisades, Valley/Brentwood, West Hollywood/Holmby Hills, Baldwin Hills/Overland/Westwood, and Venice. For more information contact prmsyellowcharterbus@gmail.com.

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