Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Public transit may or may not be answer for school bus issue

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There is an assumption that when Montgomery County Public Schools extend the ranges for school buses it means that children will be walking farther. Unfortunately, it will more likely mean that their parents drive them farther. This will mean more traffic congestion around the schools and more fuel consumed. It will take some expense out of the school budget and transfer it to parents.

Every few years some armchair strategist proposes getting rid of school buses and putting the students on public transit (i.e., RideOn) because that is what they did as kids in New York City. Unfortunately, RideOn does not have the capacity even if it hauled no other passengers.

However, some RideOn routes do run close to public schools and some of these have unused capacity. I suggest that the county transit people and the school bus people get together and look at these situations where unused capacity is convenient and hand out some bus passes to students in those areas.

George Sauer, Potomac