Senator Golden Restores Bus Service For Local Students

Martin J. Golden

March 05, 2007

Brooklyn- State Senator Marty Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) today is announcing that he has assisted in the restoration of adequate school bus service for more than twenty students of Good Shepherd School living in Gerritsen Beach and the Sheepshead Bay section of his district.

During the last week of January, Senator Golden received numerous phone calls from parents of Good Shepherd School concerning yellow bus service, having had been advised that the bus service provided to their children would be shortened. Some families of Good Shepherd School students were informed that the students would be dropped off about a half a mile from the school and have to find their way home from that point.

Each of the students who were advised of this route change were at least an additional mile from their homes at the drop off point. The children ranged in age from five years and older, with some students ages 5, 7 and 10 years old, being given a Metro Card.

Furthermore, a five and a half year old student from Bais Yakov Academy was informed that her bus stop was deleted completely from the route, and would now be have to travel more than .25 miles to her new bus stop.

Through the efforts of Senator Golden, students working full bus service was restored to the students of Good Shepherd School and also the 5 1/2 year old from Bais Yakov Academy.

Senator Golden has co-sponsored legislation that will require the Department of Education in the City of New York to provide school bus service for students in grades kindergarten through six who live one-half mile or more away from their school. Currently, only young students (5-7 year olds) in grades K-2 are subject to the New York City Board of Education bussing distance requirement of one-half mile or more. This legislation would expand the one-half mile requirement, in statute, to grades K-6 (5-11 year olds).

"It is our responsibility to insure that for New York families, we will allow for students to get to and from school safely so that parents and families do not have to worry," said Senator Marty Golden. "I am proud to have worked with the Department of Education in having these transportation issues resolved for these students and their families. We could not allow such route changes to continue to exist that would make local school children suffer transportation hardship."

Senator Golden continued, "It is my belief that students of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades should be given the opportunity to receive bus service provided by the Department of Education. To suggest public transportation for these students is unreasonable. Not all families can travel with their children to school, and as a result, students would be forced to travel on buses and subways alone at such a young age. We need to change this for New York’s families and we need to maintaining the bus routes that have been serving our school children for years in a matter that guarantees safety and that students will arrive to school on time."

The legislation co-sponsored by Senator Golden was referred to the Senate Committee on Education. A similar version is under consideration by the State Assembly Education Committee. Senator Golden is encouraging any families with inconvenient school transportation route service adjustments to contact his office at (718) 238-6044 or (718) 627-3659.