Hamden to keep same school start times, but bus delays still possible

The Board of Education voted 6-3 to keep the same four-tier busing system — and the same school start times — as last year.

But there are caveats. Hamden Public Schools Chief Operating Officer Tom Ariola warned that parents should brace themselves for the possibility of experiencing the same delays that plagued families last year amid a bus driver shortage.

If the Legislative Council votes next week to give the district another $585,000 to budget for the coming school year, Ariola said, Hamden will have the funds for six additional bus routes that would ameliorate those potential delays.

But the council’s decision is not guaranteed.

Transportation costs went up this year after the district went out to bid on its bus contract, according to Ariola, who said the lowest bid, which came from the company First Student, marked a 16 percent cost increase over last year.