Pick-up points for school transport not necessarily efficient

Nowadays, municipalities often lay down in their desiderata that school transport make use of pick-up points, presuming that this measure will make transport cheaper or more efficient. However, while this is theoretically possible, its execution is tricky.

Where are the parents?

The main advantage of pick-up points is that taxis or buses no longer have to go past all home addresses, as the vehicle only goes to one location at which all children from the area can board at a given time. This is very easy to organize when the vehicles pick up passengers in the morning. However, the disadvantage comes in the winter months, when parents and children must wait at the pick-up point in the dark, biting cold, snow and wind. The return journey in the afternoon is a touch more complex: what must you do if the journey is delayed and the parents are left waiting for their children? And what must you do if the driver has arrived at the drop-off point, but not all parents have arrived, so not all children can be handed over to an adult? 

A safe environment

Alongside the challenges of transportation, there are also practical matters which municipalities must consider, such as how to arrange the pick-up point. Considerations include whether there is a bicycle rack for children, parking spaces for waiting parents, light sources in the winter months, as well as whether passengers can be picked up and dropped off safely when several buses are waiting. These are all aspects which must be taken into consideration.

Pick-up points not always the cheaper option

Using pick-up points is a way of making savings in terms of transportation, but constructing them happens on a case-by-case basis and requires a great deal of discussion between the municipality, transport provider and parents. Municipalities must make thorough considerations, whether or not they choose to implement a pick-up point system, and try to involve the transport provider in the deliberations. Transport providers can always advise municipalities as to whether to use pick-up points or not.

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