I am writing to express my objections to the proposal of Mr. Mike Mitchell, director of operations for Carson School District, to eliminate bus stops; in particular the one at Carson Middle School servicing Carson High School students.
We live 2.3 miles from the high school, which is further than the two-mile radius which the district deems reasonable walking distance from a school. Many of the students taking the CMS bus to CHS live even further away, up to 2.5 miles from the top of Crain Circle, and 2.6 miles from the end of Comstock Circle.
Although the bus stop is 1.7 miles from the high school, the students it services live more than two miles away. Nine of the bus stops listed in the Nevada Appeal article on July 16 were between 1.7 and 1.9 miles from school. Are you certain that all of the children these stops service live within 0.4 and 0.1 miles from their stop, keeping them in the two mile acceptable radius?
I recommend you consider how far the children you service live from school, not how far the bus stop is from school.
Overcrowding of the buses and safety issues were alluded to as reasons for eliminating bus stops. I have never seen more than 25 students on any bus either going from CMS to the high school or dropping off at CMS after school on the numerous occasions I took my children to the bus, or met them after school at the bus.
I expect that eliminating bus stops is a cost-cutting measure, but in the particular case of the bus stops at CMS, you would not be eliminating a bus, only the stop. In the morning, the bus passes CMS on its way to the high school after collecting students further up Kings Canyon.
After school, uncrowded buses will continue to shuttle kids from CHS to CMS to catch other buses going further distances. Are my children going to be denied a seat on an uncrowded bus that is going where they want to go? Does that save money? Does that make sense?
I object to the elimination of bus stops on a philosophical basis also. I believe that one of the most important things we can teach our children is to care for our planet. My children continue to use the bus transportation to high school because it is the right thing to do - they are helping to conserve fuel and reduce pollution by using public transportation. Believe me, they tell me every day they are not riding the bus to be cool! We could be encouraging good habits of responsible commuting by providing the public service of buses and encouraging more students to use them. But public transportation needs to be convenient and available to work. Walking is a great alternative, but I know that on days when my children are carrying 50 pounds of books and projects in their backpacks, I will be driving them to school as will the majority of the parents whose students are effected by these cutbacks.
I encourage the school district to reconsider the elimination of bus stops. At the least, consider the distance the children live from school, not the distance of the bus stop. Also evaluate whether the district actually saves money - are buses really being eliminated or just stops? I encourage the school district to do the right thing.