2007-02-02 / Editorial/Opinion


Bus Fuss Over Mayor's Transportation Plan

Would you allow your eight-year-old third grader to jump on the subway from Rockaway and take the train to Broad Channel, travel alone from that station, cross a major four-lane boulevard and then walk two more blocks to get to and from school each day? Of course not, but Mayor Bloomberg and his minions at the Department of Education think that it's not a bad idea at all. How about putting your child on a school bus at 6:48 a.m. each morning in Breezy Point and having that child arrive three miles away at PS 114 more than an hour later? It might sound foolish to those who don't deal on a regular basis with the DOE, but both of those scenarios are for real. They are just two of thousands of scenarios brought forth by the DOE's plan to reorganize bus routes and save $14 million a year. What the agency forgets to tell you, however, is that it paid $10 million to the consultants who came up with the whacky plan that puts kids in jeopardy in order to save a couple of bucks. We have received calls from the mother of a Rockaway Park eight-year-old who attends PS 47 in Broad Channel on a safety variance. Up to now, her child rode the yellow bus. Now, he gets a MetroCard good for the subway. No eight-year-old child should be made to ride public buses or subway lines unattended. And, no child should be forced to sit on a school bus for more than an hour to travel three miles down Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The DOE needs to immediately go back to the original bus schedule until it works out a plan for September that really works and that makes the kids, and not money, its priority.

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