Private bus plan may strand students

June 5, 2008 8:03:17 AM PDT
A federal government plan to help private school bus companies compete may leave students in big cities stranded. A lot of schools are in a tough budget situation - that's why a lot of students ride public buses, instead of the bright yellow school buses we all remember. The public bus option may soon be no more.

The Federal Transit Administration is now looking at a new rule that could end up forcing some public buses, like A.C. Transit, to stop taking kids to and from school. It's not your typical yellow school bus, but right now A.C. does have several routes specially scheduled and routed to serve local schools. Some kids just use other buses and they're just mixed in with the morning commuters, but they use a youth pass which comes at a discounted price of about $15.

About 30,000 students in Fremont and Newark ride A.C. Transit buses to school. The new proposal would put more restrictions on public bus systems like A.C. in favor of private chartered school buses.

The problem is some local school districts do not have the cash to pay for the private bus service.

In Fremont, the school board did recently approve a reduction to its bus program; starting next year, students living less than three miles from the schools will have to find another way to get to school.

The good news is that while it may affect A.C. Transit, it does not at this point look like it is going to affect U.C. Transit - which serves Union City.


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