1. How large is the Vestal Central School District geographically?
The district covers approximately 55 square miles, with Vestal’s buses traveling approximately 800,000 miles each year. This represents the largest bus coverage area of any school district in the Broome-Tioga BOCES region.
Our borders stretch from the Town of Binghamton line to the east, the Town of Owego line to the west, the Pennsylvania border to the south and the Town of Union line to the north on the Susquehanna River.
2. How large is the district’s school bus and vehicle fleet?
Vestal owns 67 school vehicles for student transportation.
This number includes:
50 large buses (66 - 72 passenger)
16 small buses (30 - 35 passenger)
1 eight-passenger bus
In addition, the district owns approximately 20 service vehicles for the maintenance and transportation departments. These vehicles are utilized to provide service to Vestal’s eight academic buildings (five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one central office). These services range from transporting materials and equipment, plowing and salting district-owned roads and parking lots, lawn and grounds care, etc.
3. Does the district have a strategic plan to replace buses in an effective way?
Yes. The district seeks to replace buses on a rotating schedule. All bus purchases must be approved by voter referendum during the May school budget vote. The average cost of a new school bus is approximately $100,000.,
Student safety is our primary concern when establishing bus purchase referendums. Vestal purchases a handful of new buses each year to ensure that the fleet can continue to transport students safely, and 67.4 percent of this cost is returned to the district in the form of state transportation aid.
4. How many people does the transportation department employ?
Approximately 100 employees work in this department. This number encompasses a director, drivers, mechanics, bus attendants, office staff and substitutes. The transportation department is open daily from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is staffed in two shifts.
5. How many students does the Vestal Central School District transport?
Vestal currently transports approximately 3,700 students in grades K-12. Students in grades K - 8 must reside at least
.5 miles and those in grades 9 - 12 must reside at least .8 miles from the school they attend in order to be eligible for busing. New York State reimburses the cost of transportation for elementary students that reside at least 1.5 miles and for secondary students at least 2 miles from the building they attend. The maximum allowable walk distance is 2 miles for students in grades K - 8 and 3 miles for those in grades 9 - 12.
7. What is the annual cost per student for transportation?
Vestal’s average yearly cost per student for transportation is $700. In addition to daily bus runs, Vestal provides transportation for curriculum-related trips, athletic teams for fall, winter and spring sports, and other extra-curricular offerings.
Whenever possible, our district collaborates with other school districts to maximize efficiency.