Cancelling buses is shortsighted

What about those parents who rely on the bus to get their kids to and from school because they work?

Editor, The News:

Re: School board cuts busing in budget (The News, May 1).

The school board’s decision to cancel bus services as of September 2016 is both shortsighted and irresponsible.

It goes without saying, east Maple Ridge is overwhelmed with the number of housing developments being built.

So many families moving in with so few services, including schools.

Thus Albion and Alexander Robinson elementary schools were bursting at the seams.

And since it was unlikely a new school would be built to ease the burden on those two schools, the board decided to redraw the boundaries to fill up the under-utilized schools of Whonnock, Webster’s Corners and Blue Mountain.

For some students, their catchment school is now 10 kilometres away.

But, at least they could take a bus.

Now those students will no longer be able to get to their school without someone driving them.

We will be back to where we started – some schools at over capacity, with others being underutilized.

I don’t know many parents who travel east to get to work.

Parents are going to drop their kids at the schools they can get them to, and likely those will be the schools to the west.

And what about those parents who rely on the bus to get their kids to and from school because they work?

Do we now expect these parents to reduce their work, if that’s even possible, or quit their jobs because they had the crazy expectation that their kids could access their local catchment school?

Some may argue it’s the parents’ sole responsibility to get their kids to school.  But do we not, as a civilized society, share in the responsibility of ensuring all kids have the opportunity to an education?

Canceling bus services is a fast and easy way to save some money, but it is shortsighted and irresponsible; plus, it will have far-reaching implications for many families in our district.

Erin Smeed

Maple Ridge


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