Resumption of the bus service for primary and nursery pupils from 8 June – 2 July 2020
Bus service – communication to parents
We would like to announce the resumption of the bus service to serve primary and nursery pupils from 8 June – 2 July 2020.
A. Operation / Timetable
We will guarantee a daily bus service for primary (4 days a week, on MO/TUE/THU/FRI) and nursery pupils (5 days a week), as follows:
- Morning. The morning departure will be as usual.
- Afternoon. There will be a single departure at 12:45. The bus numbers and bus stops of the first departure (normally leaving at 15:35) will apply. Please calculate accordingly the time of arrival to your bus stop bearing in mind that this may vary a bit, depending on the actual number of pupils taking each bus.
- Wednesday. The buses will operate exactly like on the other days, with the same morning and afternoon routes, to be used exclusively by nursery pupils. The specific routes and bus stops of a “normal” Wednesday do not apply.
During this period, no occasional changes will be accepted to the ordinary enrolment of pupils (buses and bus stops). In the event that the OIB garderies do not open during this period (decision still pending to date), pupils normally taking those buses will be allowed to take the buses home (a request needs to be addressed to our transport office: email@example.com).
B. New safety and cleaning requirements
We have prepared in consultation with the European Commission and the Belgian Federation of Bus Companies (FBAA) an amended convention with the bus companies listing all additional safety and cleaning requirements to be respected during this period.
Albeit all precautionary measures listed below, parents remain the only ones to decide whether to use the bus service or to bring their children by their own means.
Capacity of buses:
The capacity of buses will be significantly reduced, in order to respect the social distancing requirements on board.
Our baseline scenario is that only 1 out of 4 seats will be occupied, with the exception of siblings who will be seated together (see detailed seating arrangements below), based on the most stringent guidelines of maintaining a 1.5m distance on the bus. In the event that the total number of passengers per bus is exceeded on 8 June, we will endeavour to ensure some additional buses or move progressively to a 50% capacity as a fall-back position, which is the current recommendation of the Belgian authorities (Brussels Mobility) on all buses.
- Two pupils will be placed by the windows in one row, leaving the next row empty (baseline scenario);
- Siblings will need to sit together and the older sibling will need to look after the younger one(s), i.e. ensuring that the younger child has its belt fastened;
- Pupils will always maintain the same seat on the bus.
- All staff (drivers and bus monitors) are obliged to use masks during the entire duration of the journey, and to regularly disinfect their hands if they touch surfaces.
- Deep cleaning of the vehicles with designated products will be done after each service (morning, afternoon) on all surfaces on board, complemented with a daily steam cleaning.
- The air-conditioning system will remain turned off, while all windows will be open. If the weather conditions impose the use of air-conditioning, bus companies will be required to change the air filters and /or clean them on a regular basis (weekly).
- Several of our buses will be used only for our school during the entire period.
Boarding/disembarking. Pupils will board and disembark from the rear door and the bus will be filled progressively from the second row backwards. This will minimise the contacts between pupils as well as with the bus driver. Moreover, a distance of 1.5 m will need to be maintained between the pupils, as well as with the bus monitor (who will not be in a position to physically assist pupils e.g. with their seat belt).
Bus monitors. Every effort will be made to ensure that bus monitors are present on all buses. For this reason, we are launching a call for volunteer parents for those morning routes normally served by secondary pupils. Parents of the relevant bus lines will be contacted for this purpose.
C. Obligations of parents and pupils
You are asked to disinfect the hands of your children just before boarding the bus; however sanitisers will be placed at the entry of each bus if needed.
Primary pupils are required to wear their own masks for the duration of the bus journey. The use of masks is highly recommended for nursery pupils as well. We recommend to provide children with an additional number of masks per day (for any loss, damage, prolonged use etc.). Any type of mask covering nose and mouth is acceptable. You are required to instruct your children on how to wear and store their masks in a safe way.
Please wear a mask and try to maintain a 1.5m distance, including between pupils, at the bus stops. You are also asked to arrive at the bus stops a little bit earlier than usual.
As you know, the situation can always evolve – we therefore ask for both your co-operation in following the above measures and your patience as the new routine gets under way. We have done everything possible to operate the service under the safest possible conditions. We count on your understanding for any delays or unforeseeable problems that may occur, especially during the first days of operation.