Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, APS buses will only be able to carry 11 students at a time; for routes that typically carry a heavy load of bus riders, this will require multiple buses on some routes to school that are typically served by just one bus. This is a big change from what we usually carry and means that we must make some changes to where and how we pick up bus riders so we can focus our bus service on routes that are farthest from school and allow them to move quickly between stops and school.
To help our buses do this, we have expanded 16 elementary walk zones into areas that are close to school. APS will not provide bus service in these areas. We are highly encouraging families to walk or bike to school from the expanded zones. Not only will it allow families to avoid vehicle congestion and the need to find a parking space around their school, but it will give students an opportunity for some movement before the start of what will otherwise be a fairly sedentary day.
To help families navigate their way through the expanded areas, APS – with assistance from Walk/Bike Arlington, has developed route maps through the zones (see below) to school. In addition, APS’ Safe Routes to School program has complied resources for those who may wish to form a walking school bus or bike train. In places where the expansion would require students to cross a major road, we are working with the County to provide crossing support at those locations.
Navigation map notes: Crossing guard locations near schools are based on 2019-20 assignments. Due to limited crossing guard resources, as students return to schools, Arlington County Police Dept. (ACPD), the entity that manages the crossing guard program, will conduct crossing counts at each location to determine if a guard may be redeployed to a higher use location. New crossing support locations for expanded areas are symbolized with a green flag.