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Irvine City Council Explores Expanding the City’s Partnership with IUSD for School Bus Service

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The Irvine City Council will reach out to the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) to talk about possibly expanding school bus service in several areas of the city.
 
At its February 13th meeting, the Council voted to have its liaisons to the IUSD — Mayor Farrah Khan and Councilmember Tammy Kim — meet with their school district counterparts to gauge their interest in expanding school bus service in cooperation with the City. Khan and Kim were specifically asked by the Council to find out the district’s attitude about financing an expansion and what studies may have been done by IUSD to identify possible areas of increased service, traffic impacts and safety issues.
 
The move comes as a bus linking Quail Hill and University High School — partly paid for with $55,000 from the City — has proved to be popular with Uni High families on the route. The bus’s 50 seats were fully subscribed within three days of announcement of the route, which was billed as a pilot project by Khan and Vice Mayor Larry Agran, who together brought the idea before the full Council back in August 2023.
 
During public comments last week, more than a dozen Quail Hill residents thanked the Council for supporting the bus, calling it a “game changer” with “a profound impact on our lives.”
 
“You have not only eased the burden on parents, but you have also contributed significantly to our children’s safety,” said Ghazan Saleh.
 
Councilmember Kathleen Treseder asked the Council to create a subcommittee to work with the District and City staff to expand bus service at Quail Hill and potentially other areas of the City and to perform studies of possible expansion and of traffic safety around IUSD campuses, with a detailed timeline of reports back to the Council.
 
Council discussion was bullish on the idea of expansion, but modified the motion to have the existing Liaison Committee members meet with District leaders about possible expansion and about what studies may need to be done, and to report back to the Council in March to consider further action.

Vice Mayor Agran said that he’s pleased with the success of the pilot project and looks forward to expanding it. Agran noted that in addition to easing the burden on families and increasing student safety, “the displacing of automobile trips and the decarbonization gains associated with this project are not trivial. If we can expand the school bus service, we’ll be able to get hundreds of cars off Irvine streets which will have a significant environmental impact while helping to ease traffic in our City.”

Roger Bloom

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