Colorado

Jul 23, 2011 8:06 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow

One dollar per ride per kid

That's exactly what Falcon School District 49 is charging kids to take a bus to school.

The district didn't have the funding for buses anymore, as was decided in January of this year.

As Director of Transportation for Falcon School District, Cindy Hardin, says, "The board completely cancelled transportation in January and came back and allowed for minimal transportation based in Falcon, but it could not cost the district anything...We need three thousand riders to be self-sustained."

To help parents understand the new system, the transportation department held an "open house" today. Many staff members were present to answer questions and help parents determine the closest stop to their home.
Several parents who came to the meeting expressed several concerns, namely safety.

"My main concern is the safety for the kids because they do have to walk so far," says working mother Jennifer Carlson, whose daughter would have to walk at least a half mile to the bus stop.

"If you have a child that's got to get to a school bus stop and they have to cross a 35mph street, you're not going to allow that child to do that. So, you're going to end up driving them to the bus stop even if it's across the street," says mother of two, Ronnette Cowlishaw.

Cowlishaw adds, "It's expensive if you have numerous children in school." She said it would cost her $378 per child for the year and she has two.

Both Cowlishaw and Carlson are working mothers and said that pick-up times from the bus stop were of concern, too. They would have to take time off work to pick-up their kids from the bus stop in the afternoons.
Both mothers are looking into other options for transportation for their children.

Hardin says that there are two different types of bussing systems: circuit and corridor. Circuit buses will run loops, make all the stops along a route, while corridor busses will primarily be in the northern and eastern parts of the district and will go up the main roads making stops along the way.

Hardin hopes that they will exceed three thousand students who will use the fee-based system. If that's the case, then they plan on adding stops along the routes.
Those who do not have to pay for the buses include those who qualify for free or reduced meals.

Click here to learn more about the fee-based bussing system.

The Falcon Department of Transportation will be open until 7 p.m. everyday next week to address any questions you may have.

Falcon School District 49
10850 E. Woodmen Road
Falcon, CO 80831
(719)495-1100

 

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