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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



School districts providing busing services for students who live too far to walk to school. In many districts a fleet of school buses is used in sequence to transport high school students, then middle school students, and then elementary school students. The result is that high school classes must start much earlier in the morning than the elementary school, and buses may traverse similar routes three times each morning and afternoon. In light of recent research on the benefits of later high school start times and the need to control transportation costs, school districts are seeking efficient school bus routing plans that meet student needs at low cost. This study uses 2018 data for schools in Northampton, Massachusetts, to identify the potential to achieve two objectives: 1) start the high school classes as late as possible in the day, and 2) minimize the cost of busing. The proposed procedure makes use of existing school bus data to optimize bus routes, which can be applicable for smaller cities. A revised routing plan that mixes high school and middle school students on the same buses allows the high school to start 30 minutes later while reducing total school bus operations.


First Advisor

Eric Gonzales

Second Advisor

Eleni Christofa