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Early Transportation in Las Vegas

In July of 1938, the Las Vegas Union School District purchased a new 1938 International model D35. It was the first bus owned by the district.

     In the fall of 1905, most children walked the short distance to school. Of course, they tended to take the shortest route which always meant crossing the railroad tracks. The school board lobbied to have the railroad fence the maintenance yard and station to protect the children.

  By 1910, the Las Vegas Grammar School on Fourth Street opened. This new school added a few more blocks to the children's walk. At that time, the school district had a four-mile limit before mileage payments would be made to the parents.

 In 1923, the Westside School was built and the elementary children no longer crossed the railroad tracks. When the Las Vegas Union School District was formed in 1926, no transportation changes were made.

   In the fall of 1905, most children walked the short distance to school. Of course, they tended to take the shortest route which always meant crossing the railroad tracks. The school board lobbied to have the railroad fence the maintenance yard and station to protect the children.

  By 1910, the Las Vegas Grammar School on Fourth Street opened. This new school added a few more blocks to the children's walk. At that time, the school district had a four-mile limit before mileage payments would be made to the parents.

  In 1923, the Westside School was built and the elementary children no longer crossed the railroad tracks. When the Las Vegas Union School District was formed in 1926, no transportation changes were made.

  In September 1933, while Boulder Dam was under construction, the school board discussed buying a bus. They ultimately decided to contract with Herman C. Lyman to transport the 130 students from Boulder City in two buses.

  In 1938, the Las Vegas Union School District purchased a school bus primarily to transport Boulder City High School students to Las Vegas with stops along the Boulder Highway. In 1943, a WWII war defense complex was being built in Henderson. At the time Henderson schools were in the Railroad Pass School District and the high school students were transported to Las Vegas. In 1947, this district became the Henderson School District.

  In 1952, a decision was made to construct a building on the northeast corner of the Sunrise Acres school property to house the maintenance and warehouse departments. It was positioned next to the Armory on 25th Street, now named Eastern Ave. This later became the bus yard.

  The transportation policy was revised in 1954 to allow high school students who lived 15 to 25 miles away from school to be given 60 cents daily, and those who lived 25 miles or more to be allowed $1.00 daily. The school board in 1955 considered buying two school buses to serve Goodsprings, Blue Diamond, and Arden.

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The Henderson School District bus is seen dropping off children at the Park Village Elementary in 1954, now Robert Taylor ES. The 1949 Ford bus was purchased new by the Henderson School District. In June of 1955, the Las Vegas Union School District Board of Trustees inspected this 66 passenger bus in consideration of purchasing it.

 In May 1955, the School Board considered purchasing a 60 passenger bus to service Indian Springs. At that time, they opted to purchase a station wagon.

  On July 14, 1955, a bid was awarded for two 66 passenger International model buses. Then, on October 26, 1955, two more buses were purchased. On July 1, 1956, all fourteen school districts in Clark County were consolidated into one, forming the Clark County School District. The consolidation did not have much effect on student transportation, since the only other buses outside Las Vegas were in Virgin Valley, Moapa Valley, and Henderson.

  By Sept. 27, 1956, the seven buses owned by the District were serving 660 children. One school, Indian Springs, was being serviced with a station wagon transporting seven children. Two contracts had been signed with carriers to transport children. One contract transported children privately from Goodsprings to meet the bus at Jean. A second contract moved children from Blue Diamond into Las Vegas.

  By setting up bus schedules, it was possible to have transportation for every child in Las Vegas who lived further than 1.5 miles from school to be transported by bus.

  On January 10, 1957, the transportation department requested a larger transit-type bus; however, the Nevada State Department specified a smaller conventional bus. The district at that time operated on a bus maintenance, repair, and replacement schedule of six years.

Transportation continued to soar throughout the rest of the 1950's:

 

• On May 3, 1957, bids were awarded for one 70 passenger bus and two 60 passenger buses.

• On August 29, 1957, the CCSD School Board approved three student bus drivers and issued chauffeur’s certificates for Moapa and Virgin Valley.

• Student bus drivers assigned to regularly-scheduled runs received $1.25 per hour.

• On April 24, 1958, two buses were purchased.

• In July 1958, the 1938 school bus was condemned for highway travel and the board sold it for $50 to a Boy Scout troop.

• On March 12, 1959, board members inquired about the number of old buses in the district. They discovered that there were two 1940 vintage buses and three older than that still in operation.

• On May 28, 1959, two station wagons and four school buses were purchased.

• The State of Nevada participated in the payment for the vehicles.

• By Sept. 29, 1959, two more buses were requested for transportation of students outside the new two-mile limit. At that time, the district owned 30 buses, transporting 2200 students in Las Vegas alone.

• Oct. 22, 1959, the District purchased two 78 passenger buses. At this meeting, the school board approved a license for a Moapa Valley student under 14 years of age to drive a school bus.

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  By the 1960s, Las Vegas was still expanding with more business, employment, families, and growth of the school population. More schools were built and buses were added. Buses and routes were added to transport students living beyond two miles from school. By the mid 1960s, the district needed more space for the storage and maintenance of the buses.

  Plans were also in the works for a much larger facility on the west side of Las Vegas at Arville and Flamingo. By the end of the nineteen sixties, the district had more than seventy buses serving all of Clark County.

  On June 23, 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 into law. Title IX was a comprehensive federal law that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The law had an impact on funding for women’s sports programs. Transportation was a key support service to sports programs for both men and women including provision of buses to and from games, and to their homes after practice.

  The 1970s saw more population growth in the valley and the implementation of an integration plan that required more transportation services. As a result of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals order, CCSD was required to develop a plan to desegregate the school populations. The plan impacted the West Las Vegas elementary schools as they were converted into sixth grade centers. African American children in grades 1-5 residing in West Las Vegas were bussed to schools outside of their neighborhoods. Children from majority white schools were bused to the West Las Vegas sixth grade centers for one year.

  In addition to the growing transportation demand related to desegregation, federal mandates in the 70’s required special transportation services be provided to children with disabilities. This required the district to purchase buses and special equipment that would meet the needs of the children. It was essential that buses could enter and travel within neighborhoods and private complexes to service children requiring specialized and curb-to-curb service.

In September of 1969, the district owned more than 70 buses.

Early
History

Transportation Facility Centers

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