BAT Cambridge Pool Transportation 2019-2020 & 2020-2021 Seasons
BAT has negotiated a contract with the City of Cambridge’s Recreation Department for the rental of the Cambridge War Memorial Pool from September to late November, and again from late February until we return to the outdoor Underwood Pool at the end of June in 2020.
The Cambridge practice times are weekdays 3:45 PM until 5:15 PM. We recognize that these times are inconvenient for families with working parents and have worked hard to make it easier on BAT parents by providing both a bus to (3:20 PM @ Chenery Middle School) and back from the pool
(arriving approximately 6:00 PM at St. Joseph's Church east parking lot adjacent to Wellington School).
For BAT swimmers already at Chenery Middle School, we have worked with the administration to make the most of the time between the end of school at 2:25 PM and our 3:20 PM bus pickup time. On each day, CMS swimmers are expected to either report to the library (supervised study time, along with other BASEC children), or to one of their teacher’s classrooms which are available Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays. Both options accommodate & supervise the kids studying until 3:00 pm, at which time they will leave, return to their lockers and gather at the rear exit to finish their reading/homework while awaiting the bus. No disruptive behavior or mixing with other students or student groups during this time is allowed.
All in all, it is our goal to provide a regular, supervised study experience, with safe and reliable transportation to and from the Cambridge Pool. Kids will be dropped off at St. Joseph's Church parking lot by 6:00 PM, home for dinner with a big head start on their reading and homework.
All non-Chenery BAT swimmers are welcome and encouraged to use the bus as well. Please have your swimmer arrive by 3:15 PM for the 3:20 PM daily departure to Cambridge (and 3:05 for the 3:10 early release Wednesday departures). The CMS administration has asked that we wait quietly at the CMS rear exit for the bus and that the non-CMS students not enter the building.
No Nonsense, Nominal Bus Fee
Over the Spring and summer, the BAT Board has contacted every area school bus and private transportation provider in order to get the most financially reasonable and timely transportation option available. We can confidently state that Eastern Bus was by far the least expensive, and most reliable choice. That said, the cost for private two-way transportation is a somewhat staggering $38,000 per year for the 30 weeks of the Cambridge option.
While our costs have increased significantly without our Higginbottom Pool, the BAT Board is keeping tuition at the same levels as it has been over the last five years. Thus, BAT has elected to make up the healthy 5 figure annual projected annual deficit out of our cash reserves while instituting a nominal charge to BAT families who wish to avail themselves of the bus.
As a swim team, BAT is not equipped to, or in the business of running and tracking a transportation for-fee service, So after careful consideration, we have established the nominal weekly rates below based on the age group. Please know that even with these fees, BAT will be subsidizing most of the transportation costs from our cash reserves.
- Blue: $15 per week, or $65 / month
- Yellow/Black/Green: $20 per week, or $86 / month
Please understand if you opt into the bus service, you will be charged a transportation fee monthly, automatically charged to your credit card, similar to how you are charged for meet fees, and annual tuition. Multi-child families will get their additional swimmers fees reduced each by 50%. If your swimmer is signed up for HS swimming, they will not be charged for the bus during the HS girls and boys’ season (as they may not be able to attend practice at this time).
To opt into the optional bus service to the Cambridge Pool, please email Fiona McCubbin, BAT Treasurer.
You may not opt in for a day, or a week. Whether your child uses the bus once, or 20 times per month, it is the same monthly fee based on your swimmer’s group, above. After opting in, you may opt out of the bus service by emailing Fiona McCubbin, BAT Treasurer 7 days in advance of the coming month.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Which bus company are we trusting to take our children to and from the Cambridge Pool, and are they fully qualified and insured? Yes, Somerville-based Eastern Bus Company, Inc. is the same company contracted to handle all the school buses for all of Belmont Public Schools and they are fully insured.
- Why does the bus return to St. Joseph’s Church and not Chenery? On most Mondays and Wednesdays, the older Yellow, Green and Black groups will be having “rain or shine”, yoga-based drylands inside the large basement function room at St. Joseph’s Church. The stop is a convenient mid-point for most families, with a lot of parking, so it made sense to return our swimmers here each day.
- If we do not wish to use the bus, what are my options? Parents unable or unwilling to take advantage of the bus option are expected to deliver their swimmers to the Cambridge pool by 3:35 PM, and pick them up at 5:30 PM promptly. The rear parking lot of Harvard Vanguard, diagonally across the Cambridge Pool has free parking after 5:00 PM.
- Does my swimmer need to attend Belmont Public Schools to take this bus? No. If you can get your swimmer to Chenery by 3:15 PM (3:05 PM Wednesdays), we invite ALL of our swimmers to make use of this transportation option.
- Will you be adding a Belmont High School bus stop on the way to the Pool? Not at this time. All the Belmont-based Eastern buses must first finish their Elementary school routes before becoming available to take our swimmers to Cambridge. The earliest Eastern Bus can promise us to arrive for pickup at Chenery is 3:25 pm, (while we plan to be ready at 3:20 PM) As it stands, this is barely enough time to get us to the Cambridge Pool on time for the 3:45 PM practice.
- Will you ever consider adding a BHS Stop? Yes. If we can somehow shave 2-3 minutes from the delivery time to the pool, we are open to adding a BHS PIckup/Stop on the east-bound corner of Concord and Orchard Streets after the Chenery pickup. Due to the circumstances of the BHS rebuild project, BHS has advised us to stay off BHS grounds during the construction period. We hope to explore alternate routes (down Concord, down Huron to Concord avoiding Fresh Pond Rotary, and even Huron to Brattle).
- What about a stop at my elementary school (Wellington, Butler, Burbank or Winn Brook)? Unfortunately, no. We have not even seconds to spare at this time. We do welcome however our elementary school families who can get their swimmers to Chenery at 3:20 pm to take the bus
- My child is at another elementary school, how can they safely get to the bus at Chenery? Though we understand your concern, unfortunately, we can not provide any transportation or coordination of transportation for the elementary school swimmers. During the brief time we swam at Cambridge in June, some families got together and had their kids walk with other BAT swimmers from Wellington to Chenery. We would encourage such parents to work together or carpool as much as possible.
- Is it possible to alter the bus pickup time? No. We are slave to the conditions faced and offered by Eastern Bus.
- What about pickup times on “early release Wednesdays”? Yes, as Belmont Public schools finish early on Wednesdays, we have arranged an earlier pickup time on Wednesdays. We are currently departing at 3:10 PM on Wednesdays, so please make sure your child is there by 3:05 PM on Wednesdays.
- Beginning on Dec 2, 2019, BAT will be splitting into two groups and two different pools at later times in Watertown and Waltham, will BAT provide bus service during these 10-11 swim weeks? Not at this time, but if there is enough family interest and participation for Sept-November bus, then it is something that the Board will consider.