TUSD'S new bus yard not ready to open on the first day of school - Tucson News Now

TUSD'S new bus yard not ready to open on the first day of school

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Students in the Tucson Unified School District head back to classes Thursday, but TUSD's brand new bus yard won't be open in time.

The Westside Transportation Center was just dedicated on the far southwest side, near Valencia and Camino de Oeste, last week.

KOLD News 13 reported at that time that TUSD said a land swap that made the new center possible still needed federal approval.

The expectation was that about 80 buses would be rolling out of the yard to pick up children who live on the district's west side on August 1, the first day of school.

While the yard itself is ready, it seems the paperwork is holding things up.

The bus yard is on 10 acres of Pascua Yaqui land.

In a lease and land swap agreement TUSD gets the bus yard while the Pascua Yaqui Tribe gets control of 10 acres of TUSD land.

All this also involves the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a federal agency.

This is what we were told in an email from TUSD:

"The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and TUSD are all working together to have buses starting their routes from the Westside Transportation Center next week. Until that occurs, our buses will operate from the Central Transportation Center and will follow the previously established routes that originate from that point."

Voters approved a bond issue in 2004 that included $5.2 million dollars for the transportation center.

TUSD says, with the bus yard closer to the students and the schools it serves, it's expected to save the district about $700,000 a year in fuel costs, staff time and wear and tear on the buses.

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