New York, NY – 5,000 Kids Told: Off The Bus!

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    New York, NY – The free rides are over.

    The city is booting more than 5,000 seventh- and eighth-graders from its yellow buses come September, hoping to trim $3.4 million from a massive shortfall in next year’s budget.

    The cuts — hitting at least 65 public and private schools — will end what was a courtesy for students in schools hard to reach by mass transit.

    Even though the city has delivered the service to thousands of students since 1993, it is legally required to provide busing only through the sixth grade.

    Sue Dietrich, recording secretary for the Staten Island Federation of Parent Teacher Associations, said some students would be forced to walk a mile and half to school.

    “In the mornings, when it’s dark and cold and snowy and raining, it’s a long way for a seventh-grader to go,” she said.

    Staten Island would be hardest hit — with nearly 3,000 kids in 47 schools affected — while 900 students in Queens, a similar number in Brooklyn and about 450 in The Bronx would lose the service.

    Kids bumped from the buses can get free or discounted MetroCards for public transportation, and can also seek an exception to the yellow-bus ban.

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    21 COMMENTS

    1. Since when is everything for nothing. Pay the are, a free ride is not an entitlement, or move closer to the school. Very simple solution.
      If the fare is to expensive, get another job! Again, a simple solution.
      If you are on welfare, and can’t afford it, or do not work, GET A JOB!

    2. No, the system is not fair.
      Normal mass transit fares are really expensive to add onto a family budget. There are also some people that lost money or jobs through no fault of their own and currently can not find a jub!
      But GEE, 6 yars ago when my child aged out of free schoolbusses the bus co forced the schools to alter dismissal time so older kids could no longer get free rides home on the yellow school bus.

    3. Let the kids learn how to walk its very healthy. Has anyone been looking at these kids recently, its amazing how overweight they are. its a very serious issue that we should be addressing, no joke! like 3 or 4 out of every 5 kids in our communities are overweight.

      • when I was their age I walked 17 miles a day (round trip) to school every day, by myself….and yes, through heavy snow as well………today they sit on their butts, eating chips and coca-colar.

        • When I was in school, I used to walk 28 miles a day EACH WAY to & back from school….

          come on, get real! Yes people should walk more, but you didnt walk 17miles a day every day!

    4. Someone has to pay for the free buses – I have been!
      I (and everyone else) have been paying taxes for your kids to have a free ride to school. But now its time to cut back. The economy is tough for everyone. We want the city to cut expenses – and this is one way. We just have to suck it in and deal with it.

      • SAID The Truth Says: Says:
        “ Someone has to pay for the free buses – I have been!
        I (and everyone else) have been paying taxes for your kids to have a free ride to school. But now its time to cut back. The economy is tough for everyone. We want the city to cut expenses – and this is one way. We just have to suck it in and deal with it. ”

        Maybe you are missing the point of society. Did your kids use yellow buses?
        Are you sure that for the rest of your life, (120) you will never need any help?
        It sounds like you have either grown children or no children. That would be your situation or decision. But to expect Government to stop every cost that you can not currently benefit from is aninine.

    5. (reply to #4) you must not realize that there are plenty of kids that live over a mile from their school, so for a seventh grader that’s a pretty long walk twice a day

      • First of all a mile each way is a joke of a walk. If they really cant walk maybe get a bike, that is also great exercise, i am not sure if there are any govt. programs that give out bike’s for kids, so if they cant afford new ones, I’m sure used ones will get them to yeshiva just as well. And also there are plenty of alternative methods of transportation, car pool, the school could hire a private Yid with a bus or van.

    6. public school students who don’t pay any tuition, shouldn’t be complaining about not getting free transportation. especially if it was only a courtesy and not required by law

    7. I used to walk 15 miles each way to school, uphill (both ways) in the snow, even in June, without shoes or coat.

      However, my grandson has to cross two major roads (including a six lane road) to get to school as of September & he’s only 10. There are crossing guards…one is supposed to be very vigilant, the one by the 6 lane road is not. Guess there’s a lot of Tehillim & road safety lessons needed. I agree, though, with #2 & #5.

    8. As far as the Mta goes, they are taking buses off, you wait 40 min. for a B68, then 3 B11’s and 3 B68’s come together and meet at Ave I in the intersection and the 6 drivers stop to talk!! It is a disgrace. That was last week. (Mon) In Jube, they are supposed to take more buses off. They have stopped bus routes already. Are we all going to walk?? At the rate Mayor B. is goin g we will be going back to the horse and buggy. At least you could get someplace!! Hay is cheaper than oil.

    9. Walking a mile or a mile and half each way should not be a big deal for most healthy 7th and 8th graders. Where I grew up there was no bussing for anyone who lived within 5 miles of the schools. Parents car pooled their kids to school in the morning before work, and, unless the weather was really horrible, kids much younger than 7th grade walked home, often 2-4 miles. It was great exercise. The notion of bussing all students regardless of age and how close to school they live is a very new development.

    10. I loved to ride my bike to Yeshiva on nice sundays, but even that came to an end when one of my chaverim was “Relieved” of his his bike at knifepoint. security is no better today, and where at the yeshiva do you lock up?

    11. Our boys walk the mile and a quater to school and back each day. they’rs trim and healthy! In the rain and snow we sometimes drive them- if theyare ready at a designated time!! It is a healthy alternative to sitting on a stuffy bus and my children are not all above seventh grade. They are allowed to walk home by themselves stating in the spring of 3rd grade provided they can cross carefully and only at the light. we all shoulkd walk more and drive less. IT puts a spring in your step .

    12. Stats show that the safest way for kids to go to school is thru the Yellow school buses, safer than car pooling, safer than public transportation, and of course safer than walking and biking!!

    13. I’m personally quite happy to see less busses out there, there a traffic hazard… but that’s beside the point. I can’t agree with this measure at all. This is a dangerous city to live in. you may have walked 40 miles or whatever to go to school(good for you) but that was back in your time.
      Now a days there are more creeps in the world that in your time. Criminal’s minds are even more twisted than at any point in history. I say this is bad move or at least work on some alternative more affordable means of transportation.

    14. I live 4 miles from my daughters school. She would have to take two different buses. I don’t think we can expect 7 or 8th graders to have to take multiple buses to get to school. There needs to be exceptions made. Staten Island is not Brookly or Queens. There is another option; they can charge the parents a montly fee to continue bus service. I would be happy to pay extra to insure the safety of my daughter.

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