The Twin Falls School District serves a 97 square mile area in Twin Falls County. The school district contracts with an outside company to provide transportation services to students who qualify for this service. Generally, students who live more than 1.5 miles from their school are eligible to ride the bus. In addition, the TFSD provides safety bussing for students who would have to cross busy or unsafe streets (as defined by Idaho Code) in order to reach their school.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are there so many buses in my neighborhood this year?
One of our goals is to reduce time students spend on the bus. In many cases, having a separate bus for each school level allows us to do this, but also means there will be more buses in neighborhoods where many students require bus service.
Who do I contact with a question or comment?
Mid Columbia Bussing is ultimately responsible for bussing in the Twin Falls School District. However, there are many areas of this system that require Mid Columbia Bussing and the Twin Falls School District to work together. Because of this, we ask that questions and comments be submitted using this form: Submit Questions or Comments. By utilizing the form, you will help us delegate your questions directly to the appropriate organization, which in turn will speed up the time it takes to get back to you.
What about my Kindergartner?
Kindergartners ride regular buses to school in the morning and home from school at 3:00 PM. The mid-day route to get students to school for afternoon Kindergarten has not been published at this time.
The routes seem to follow a strange path, why is that?
There are many factors that need to be taken into account when developing bus routes. Each neighborhood has its own complexities and we work through a process to develop these routes. While the path might seem strange at first glance, the process below explains how different factors are evaluated and used to develop routes.
Our first priority is to keep the number of students on the bus within a safe parameter. If a nearby stop will over fill the bus, we design routes to have another bus pickup that bus stop. We also try to evaluate how many students have currently requested service at a given location and how many could potentially request service at that location in the future.
We also must take into account other laws and regulations. For example, students who live out in the country are often required to have “right side pickup” so they don’t cross the road, regardless of age. There are also some locations that the local police have asked us not to use because using those locations would cause traffic to back up too much. In some cases, this can mean added miles and minutes to provide service for all students.
Next, we evaluate the times students would be arriving and departing at their school. There is a little flexibility in these times, however, students can not arrive too early or stay too late at school because building staff will not be in place at those times. In the mornings, we strive to have students at school in time to have 20 minutes to eat breakfast before the bell rings. In addition, we cannot simply reverse the morning routes to create afternoon routes. In some instances, trying to do this would require students to wait up to 20 minutes before their bus arrives.
After evaluating wait times before and after school, we look at how long students are on the bus. While those living further outside town have further to travel and thus will be on the bus for more time, the majority of students will be on the bus for 35 minutes or less. In order to achieve this goal, stops may be moved or combined to save time on the road.
One other component we keep in mind is the state guideline for reimbursement. In order to receive the maximum funding for our bussing from the state, we have to develop efficient routes where buses are full to the extent that the state requires. If the buses are not reasonably full, the TFSD is required to pay for the increased operating costs and decreased state reimbursement. Adding a new bus for 20 students can, in many cases, be financially irresponsible to the taxpayers.
Why does my student have to walk so far?
The state of Idaho requires all students to walk up to 1.5 miles to and from school, with the exception of crossing hazardous roads, such as Pole Line or Blue Lakes. In order to balance the time students are on the bus, it has been decided that students can walk up to half a mile to get bus service. While we try to arrange distances under that, there are some cases where routing a bus closer would mean a significant increase in bus time in order to get to those areas.
Why did it take so long to get these done?
The program being utilized this year to assist with bus routing is new to the TFSD and Mid Columbia Bussing. Our staff has worked diligently to enter the information we have into the system. For those who submitted their bussing requests early in the summer, we thank you, as this was helpful in getting started on this project. However, many bus service requests come in late this summer, which has required additional data entry and reevaluating of routes. Each new request has the potential to force multiple routes to be redrawn.
I thought my kid(s) were on a different bus last year.
It is quite likely that different buses have been assigned to your neighborhood this year. With a new system and many families moving over the summer we have completely recreated most of our bus routes.
To find out where the nearest bus stop is, please call Mid-Columbia Bus Company at 208-733-8003
In order to create effective bus routes, it is important for the bus company to understand what services are needed for each student each year. If you are planning to utilize the bus you must register for this service. Click on the button below to fill out a short form that will provide the bus company with the information they need.
Printable Bus Service Form
2017-18 School Zones for all Schools
Bus Rules and Regulations
Mid-Columbia Bus Company Contact Information