FCPS Bus Facility Feasibility Study

photo of school buses

Contacts

Holly Nelson
Project Manager

(301) 644-5026

Overview

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) initiated the Bus Facility Feasibility Study in January 2016 to improve the operations of the Transportation Department by providing adequate and efficient facilities for bus parking, bus maintenance and driver training.  The current parking, bus maintenance, training, and administration spaces are inadequate for the current and future volume of service that FCPS provides.

View the Phase 3 report here


Background
In order to meet its educational goals, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) must respond to the logistical challenge of providing transportation to students from all corners of the county. According to Board of Education Policy Section 441, FCPS provides school bus transportation when students live outside the prescribed walking distances, when there is a safety barrier along the walking route, for students who are attending Pre-Kindergarten, or for students who are disabled. As such, FCPS is responsible for transporting approximately 30,000 students every day using over four hundred school buses.

The FCPS Transportation Department operates out of the Hayward Road Annex at 7446 Hayward Road, located on the north side of Frederick City. All management, routing, dispatch, training, and payroll operations take place at this facility. The majority of the bus maintenance takes place at the Hayward Road Annex in a 5-bay, 5,500 sq. ft. shop, although a mobile bus maintenance crew completes some simple maintenance tasks remotely. The Hayward Road Annex accommodates less than half of the refueling and parking needs; other buses refuel at Linganore High School or at gas stations using a gas card and are parked in 26 locations around the county or at the homes of their drivers.

The Hayward Road Annex does not meet the current and future needs of the transportation department. Expansion of the annex may be problematic given the size of the property and competing needs of the Maintenance and Operations Department which also operates out of this location. Additionally, as more growth occurs on the south and east side of the County and more buses are in service there, staff at the current location have difficulty responding to bus maintenance needs in a timely fashion.

Bus Facility Feasibility Study Process
This process will happen in three phases:

  • Project Scope Phase (January – June 2016): The team will inventory existing conditions and define the project scope. The team will present a report to the BOE at the end of this phase.
  • Feasibility Phase (July 2016 – May 2017): The team will study the feasibility of existing and additional site resources to satisfy the project scope.
  • Recommendation Phase (March – August 2017): The team will develop short and long term recommendations that optimize FCPS bus operations and utilize resources in a strategic and responsible manner.  The team will present a report to the BOE at the end of this phase.

Visit the links above to view the scope and progress of each phase, a list of team members, a schedule of team meetings, and meeting minutes. The project is anticipated to take approximately 18 months. The majority of the work will be completed by the project team, with limited engineering and real estate consulting services during the second and third phase. The project team meetings are held at the Transportation Department offices on Hayward Road and are open to the public.

The study is overseen by a steering committee whose purpose is to ensure that the project objectives are met, review progress of the project, and provide guidance for the Bus Facility Feasibility Study team as necessary. Read more about the steering committee.

Community Engagement
Throughout the Bus Facility Feasibility Study process, FCPS will be working hard to engage with our employees and the wider community. There will be opportunities to participate in surveys, focus groups, and a community forum. A schedule of engagement opportunities will be posted and regularly updated as more events are added. Visit the three phase page links above to see meeting agendas and minutes.