MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s been decided that 180 students will have to walk to school next year instead of taking the bus after an exhaustive transportation study found that 20 percent of students busing to school could actually be walking.
Officials say the change would save about $90,000.
The move means bus service will not be provided to elementary students living within a mile of their school; middle school students within a mile and a half; and high school students within two miles.
A school official says it’s not just about money, it’s about being fair. He added that students who could be walking, should be walking. But not all parents agree.
“I work during the day so it will be a further walk for him and I won’t know whether he gets across the streets OK, gets home OK,” said Vicky Keegan, whose 8th-grade soon became a walker with the new policy. “When the kids walk down here, they drive fast, they eat through the stop sign, there’s a lot of accidents right over here.”
Added Jeff Desantis, “I’m not letting my kids walk to school if they had to, but I’m one of those people that would drive them 50 feet down the road anyways. You can never be too safe.”
Another nearly 300 students could also be changed to walking status, depending on some minor recommendations for safety, such as crosswalks, crossing guards or sidewalks.
School officials said they’ve received some 20 calls from parents regarding the bus stop reductions. Parents have until June 1 to submit an appeal if they feel the removal of their child’s bus stop poses a safety problem.
Stephanie Simoni reporting