Safe Passages

One Newark Transportation: Fact Sheet

What has stayed the same?

NJ Transit Tickets

  • The current policies governing the allocation of bus tickets will remain the same for the 2014-15 school year.
  • NPS and Newark public charter school students are eligible for bus tickets if they are in:
    • Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade and living 2 miles or more from school.
    • Ninth through twelfth grade and living 2.5 miles or more from school.

What is different?

We have created One Newark Safe Passages, a transportation program established to support families most impacted by One Newark school plans (those whose previous school changed or whose school moved to a new location).

Who is eligible?

  • Kindergarten through eighth grade students who attended Maple Avenue, Newton Street, Madison Avenue, Bragaw Avenue, and Alexander Street in the 2013-2014 school year will have access to optional, free shuttle service regardless of new school matches.
  • Optional, free shuttle service will also be provided to all students who attended schools during the 2013-2014 school year that are being relocated. These schools include ECC-Clinton, Eagle Academy, Girls Academy of Newark, Miller Street, Newark Vocational, and Newark Early College.

When do the shuttles start? How can I register?

  • All eligible students have the option of utilizing shuttle services beginning on September 4, 2014.
  • For continued use of shuttle bus services, families need to register online at www.nps.k12.nj.us/shuttle-routes or at (2 Cedar St.) or call the Contact Center (973-733-7360) by September 15th, 2014. We are asking families to register by September 15th so NPS can accurately track attendance and usage.
  • Information sessions and other outreach will continue throughout September.

Will students now attend schools much further from their homes?

  • We know families were impacted by school changes for the fall – and therefore we are pleased to offer this free shuttle service. But the answer to this question is yes and no. Because Newark has several schools that have traditionally pulled students from multiple neighborhoods and because some families are willing to travel to a school that best suits their student’s needs, and some students will be closer to their schools while others are further.
  • For example:
    • About half of Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade students live less than 1 mile from their new schools.
    • More than half of Miller students will be closer to home as a result of re-siting.
    • Nearly 75% of Newark Early College students are less than 2 miles from their new site.

Where do eligible families go? I heard pick up is at 6AM. Is that true?

  • Bus routes will start at the 8 Central Hub locations and will drop students off at their matched school locations throughout Newark.
  • A copy of the full route with schedule can be found at: www.nps.k12.nj.us/shuttle-routes.
  • NPS has several routes for families. Students were assigned to routes according to where they go to school and where they live – but families can take advantage of all routes (as long as there are seats available on the shuttles).
  • Charter schools start the day at 7:30 AM, so some shuttles will begin pick up early to accommodate those families.
  • Families with students who start school later will have later shuttle times available.

What happens if a child is late and misses their bus from the Central Hub?

  • NPS has developed a series of protocols and policies to ensure late students get to school safely. The teacher’s aide on-site at the Central Hub will follow the late policy protocol.

What is the plan to ensure child safety at the Bus Stop/Central Hub:

  • Central Hub locations will be staffed with two security guards and teacher’s aides.
  • Every Central Hub has a site specific emergency plan.
  • All Central Hubs have access to the building in the event of inclement weather or the need for a restroom, a telephone, heat, water or first aide materials.
  • All staff members or volunteers assigned to transportation hub locations will complete a background check and fingerprinting, CPR and First Aid training, and Shuttle Bus operations training. They will also be taught how to process late students, how to monitor behavior and what actions to take in the event of an emergency.
  • Newark first responders including the Newark Police Department, Newark Fire Department and local hospitals have been informed of the location of the Central Hubs.
  • Crossing guard hours will be adjusted in order to reflect the times children will be traveling to and from Central Hub sites.
  • Every bus will have a teacher’s aide to monitor attendance, behavior, and safety.
  • Each teacher aide at the Central Hubs will have a list of students who are registered for the service. The teacher’s aides will check the list and forward the information to the receiving schools so that we can be sure that all students who take the shuttle arrive safely at school.

What is the policy for releasing students from Central Hubs to parents and adults?

  • When you register for your student’s shuttle, you must indicate whether your child is allowed to walk from the Central Hub on their own or whether they must be released to an adult. You must also specify the names of the adults the student is allowed to be released to.

How was the bus service operator selected?

  • Newark Public Schools worked with the Essex Regional Educational Services Commission’s Transportation Office (ERESC) to select a vendor through a competitive bidding process. This process allowed NPS to select a vendor with the right skills and capacity to service the bus routes.
  • The ERESC and NPS will monitor the performance of contractors daily according to the performance metrics and penalties included in the executed contract.

What are Safe Routes Maps?

  • Safe Routes Maps outline suggested routes for students to walk to/from the Central Hub location.
  • Safe Routes Maps are currently available for the 8 Central Hub locations; and are located online at www.nps.k12.nj.us/safe-routes.
  • Safe Routes Maps were created in partnership with Newark Police Department (NPD); the data for Safe Routes Maps was drawn from NPD’s data on crime incidence, abandoned houses, Megan’s Law offenders and traffic volume.
  • Safe Routes Maps are fluid to changes that occur and will be updated online.
  • Safe Routes Maps are available for impacted schools right now. But will be available for all Newark Public Schools by February 2015.