Coronado Unified School District middle and elementary school students living in the Coronado Cays, Naval Amphibious Base, and Lincoln Military Housing have been issued San Diego Metropolitan Transit (MTS) bus passes for school transportation in the 2021-22 school year.
In previous years CUSD has provided limited neighborhood-to-school transportation to and from Coronado Middle School and Village and Silver Strand Elementary School for students living in the Silver Strand communities.
On June 30, 2020, CUSD’s 5-year contract with South Bay Union School District to provide home-to-school bus transportation ended. Consistent with legal requirements for contracting, the district released multiple “Requests for Proposals” (RFP) in the summer of 2020 in hopes of securing a new contract. CUSD did not receive any bids and subsequently released a second RFP. District staff individually contacted over 50 public and private agencies to collaborate on a solution and/or bid for the work (including discussions with the City of Coronado, US Navy, all San Diego school districts, and private busing companies). Again, no bids were submitted.
On August 11, a letter was sent to district families who were eligible for transportation services informing them that the district would be unable to provide buses for the 2021-22 school year. Parents who responded were contacted by district officials to arrange for the free MTS passes.
To date, the district has issued 50 passes to eligible students for the 2021-22 school year. On average (pre-pandemic) 85-100 students used the school transportation option.
There has been no change to transportation services for special education students.
According to the National School Transportation Association there is a nationwide shortage of bus drivers that is expected to remain at “critical levels” over the coming months.
Most vendors/districts, including CUSD’s previous provider (South Bay Union) and private charter bus companies cited the lack of staffing and the uncertainties related to operations under COVID 19 as their reason for not being able to service the CUSD route.
We realize that public transportation is not ideal for our students and we are continuing to explore alternative options to restore school bus service. We will update our school community throughout the school year.