School Bus Parking: They’ll Park At Schools

The Westport Public Schools’ move of bus companies — from Dattco to First Student — means a move in bus parking too.

With the current site — the congested lot on Post Road East, opposite Playhouse Square — unavailable after June 30, an alternate location is needed.

Until a permanent spot is found, buses will be parked from July 1 through October 31 at Staples High School, Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools, and Coleytown and Long Lots Elementary Schools.

Dattco buses, entering the Post Road East parking lot. (Photo/Joyce Joiner)

The locations were chosen after analyzing the availability of parking for staff and students.

When the school year begins, buses will leave their school spots between 6 and 7 a.m, After pickups and drop-offs, they’ll return to their schools between 9 and 9:30.

They’ll leave for afternoon runs between 1 and 2 p.m., then return between 4 and 5.

Westport Public Schools’ chief financial officer Elio Longo says that at some locations, like Staples, there is already dedicated bus parking. In other locations, buses will be parked where there is the least impact on students, staff and neighbors.

Parking plan for Staples High and Bedford Middle School (click on or hover over to enlarge).

Even with bus parking, “each of the school locations still has a surplus of parking available,” Longo says.

Planning & Zoning Department officials have placed restrictions on bus parking. All bus operators must comply with the sate law regarding idling. There will be no mechanical servicing of buses on school grounds, and “no amplified music or whistles.”

Parking plan for Coleytown Middle and Elementary Schools (click on or over hover to enlarge).

Longo is “confident that this temporary plan will serve the needs of the students but in a way that does not adversely impact the students, neighbors and community at large.”

District officials are working on other arrangements, once the temporary bus parking solution ends.

Parking plan for Long Lots Elementary School (click on or hover over to enlarge).

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10 responses to “School Bus Parking: They’ll Park At Schools

  1. Peter Marks

    Let’s hope First Student bus company is more concerned with Safety than Dattco. Unfortunately I was told by the Dattco Safety Mgr that many of the drivers will be the same. When confronted with some serious safety violations of some drivers. His answer was “ not my problem we don’t have the contract anymore “ This conversation was when school was still in session. He refused to give his name other than say he was the director of safety handling Westport buses. He hung up when I asked for his name and whether he will work for First Student. Parents.. you’ll get what you accept. Your child’s safety depends on it. !

    • joshua stein

      Can you please elaborate on some of the safety issues? If they were serious in nature, I hope someone put them in writing to the bus company, town, and state. People need to be held accountable. Document the time that you called, the phone #, etc, and if there is an investigation, that might help. I some times go as far as to email the owners/CEOs when something needs to be brought to their attention, they need to be held accountable as well.

  2. Tammy J Barry

    What about using the beach parking during the school year….certainly plenty of parking there!

  3. With Westport’s current “pave over” mentality, perhaps the new bus company will park at the community gardens.

  4. Sherwood Island seems like a good choice for school year bus parking. It’s got easy access without traversing residential neighborhoods.

    • I have long thought that made a lot of sense because they have some huge lots that are largely under-used when school is in session.

      It could be a win-win for the town and the state – Westport could avoid another long-term bus-parking boondoggle and Connecticut could collect reasonable fees for parking on otherwise empty lots.

  5. Phillip Perri

    Wait. The schools have the room to handle bus parking and STILL have excess parking available? If that is the case I have 2 questions; 1. Why even look for a new lot, save the district a lot of money and 2. for at least 25 years that I know of we’ve been paying some $800K/year in rent for the Post Rd parking lot. This is fiscal responsibility? Where was/is the BOE all these years? Here’s an idea, use the savings to post school resource officers in ALL our schools to protect our kids. Isn’t that a better use of the funds? As a tax payer this really upsets me.

    • joshua stein

      Is this the property where the busses were being parked that was costing $800k/year? ?? The town was spending $800k of year for that little space when they own 22 acres of land abutting it? The saying usually goes follow the money, curious who has been benefitting from that 800k. A & M PROPERTIES LLC & RJM PROPERTIES LLC co-Owner C/O MARNIE MASIELLO based in PA?

    • joshua stein

      Is 304 Post Road E the property where the busses were being stored at $800k/yr? If so, Why was the town paying that if there is 22 acres of land abutting that, as well as probably other options. Owners listed as A & M PROPERTIES LLC & RJM PROPERTIES LLC Co-Owner C/O MARNIE MASIELLO. Curious is behind those LLCs and if this was some sweetheart deal?