High gas prices don't seem to be encouraging more students to ride Lawrence school buses.
The number of bus passes issued for the start of school is down from last spring, according to the school district and its bus provider, Laidlaw Transit Inc.
So far, 1,455 passes have been issued with 100 applications still to be processed. In the spring, there were 1,800 riders.
That's not unusual, said Rick Gammill, the district's director of special operations.
"Our numbers always seem to be lower at the beginning of the school year," he said. "The number of bus riders increase as the year progresses as the weather becomes increasingly colder."
At the beginning of the 2005-2006 year, there were about 1,550 riders.
Also, Gammill pointed out, the district eliminated two routes in the areas of Langston Hughes and Sunflower schools. About 100 students became walkers instead of riders because their homes were close to school and because area sidewalk construction was completed.
The basic fee to ride the bus was $240 per year in 2006-2007, if payment was made before July 14. The cost now is $260 per year.