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Pay to ride the school bus?

In May, the Douglas County Board of Education approved a school bus transportation fee. Starting next school year, parents whose children are bused to and from school will be asked to pay a 50-cent-per-ride fee. The decision to implement the new transportation fee will affect about 17,000 students.The district, the third largest in the state, hopes to raise $2 million, which will help cover the cost of installing GPS units in each of the buses.According to the Denver Post Web site, the Douglas County school system is facing $31 million in reductions for the 2010-11 school year. At almost $16 million, the district states that transportation costs make up a large portion of the budget.This month’s Streetwise question got people thinking about the possibility of other area school districts implementing a school bus transportation fee. Would you be willing to pay it? If not, what would be an alternative solution?

Amy Stull
I drive my kids to charter school. But if they were to ride the bus, I don’t think I would be able to afford it. And, as a single mom, I could really see it adding up. I would probably end up picking them up and dropping them off. And right now that works.

Glenn Lew
I think the 50 cents per ride is reasonable. It is very expensive to run buses. You have to pay the drivers and pay for insurance. But an alternative solution would be car pooling. It would force the schools to better organize a parent car pool. They could take turns on different days and that is one way to help schools that are financially strapped. The only problem with the car pooling is it would be hard to coordinate everyone’s schedules, especially students who have after school activities. Organizing that would be a nightmare.

Mackenzie Wooldridge
Colorado Springs
I, for one, would not be in favor of it. It’s not fair because parents would have to decide if they can afford to have their children ride the bus, and they already ride the bus because they cannot afford to drive them.

Usrula Miller
For those who can’t afford the bus, they would be forced to walk and the first priority should be the safety of the children. In this day and age, it is not safe for kids to walk to school. I am against having to pay to ride the bus and would offer an alternative. They should sell advertising on the side of the bus to cover the cost. They could raise a lot of money. And it shouldn’t be the parents who need to find the sponsors. It should be nonprofit or community organizations that could do the work.

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