2010-07-23 / Letters

Save The Scholars’ Academy School Buses

Dear Editor,

Letter originally sent to New York City Department of Education Chancellor Joel I. Klein.

I am writing to protest proposed budget cuts that will eliminate school bus service for students of The Scholars’ Academy in Rockaway Park who live within New York City Geographic District 27/Council District 32, but more than five miles away from the school. Many children in Breezy Point, Rockaway Point, Roxbury, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, and Ozone Park worked very hard to gain admission to The Scholars’ Academy, but will be unable to attend the school without yellow bus service.

The Office of Pupil Transportation has informed parents that in lieu of yellow school bus service, students will be provided with free Metro- Cards. However, MetroCards are useless to students of The Scholars’ Academy, who are as young as 10 years old. Mass transportation options to this school are limited to non-existent, and to the extent that they do exist, are all unreliable and unsafe.

The Rockaway Peninsula, in particular, has long been starved for adequate public transportation. There is simply no mass transportation to The Scholars’ Academy from the communities of Roxbury, Rockaway Point, and Breezy Point, on the west end of the Rockaway Peninsula. Parents from these communities who input their home addresses into New York City Transit’s http://tripplanner.mta. info website in order to find out how they might be able to get their children to The Scholars’ Academy receive the message “Sorry, we are unable to provide any information because No stops within walking distance of origin.” It is indeed ironic that these three communities on the west end of the Rockaway Peninsula save New York City millions of dollars each year by providing their own vital services (fire, ambulance, police, sanitation, lifeguards, etc.), but are being denied New York City school bus service.

The Rockaways continue to be hit where it hurts more than any other neighborhood by New York City funding cutbacks. Our bridge tolls are rising, the ferry that has been a success in providing a transportation lifeline to residents of our Peninsula has recently been cancelled, and now our children’s education is in peril. I expect your full support for the continued funding of New York City school bus service to The Scholars’ Academy. The school buses must continue to run.

ELLEN MCCARTHY

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