Albany, NY, Friday, March 30, 2012 – Yesterday, bipartisan legislation (S.6027), supported by State Senators Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and Tony Avella (D-Bayside) successfully passed the State Senate. The bill, initiated by State Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), will restore yellow school bus services to hundreds of middle school students throughout the City who lost it as a result of a May 2010 decision by the NYC Department of Education.
Addabbo and Avella advocated with Senator Lanza to expand the concept of his original bill, which had only applied to Staten Island, to address the problem that affected middle school children across the city.
“Ensuring the safety of our youth as they commute back and forth to school should be the number-one priority in student transportation,” stated Avella. “Restoring the bus services that have been cut since 2010 is vital to attaining our safety goals. In my district, College Point is without a middle school altogether. They are forced to use public transportation or search for rides to and from school. This extends their commute times and may expose them to situations that they may not be mature enough to handle. Students should be allowed to concentrate on their studies. They don’t need the added stress of worrying about how they are going to get home.”
Senator Addabbo added, "When the May 2010 decision by the NYC Department of Education ended yellow school bus service for over 4,000 7th and 8th graders citywide, two-thirds of the students affected were Staten Islanders. I'm in total agreement with my Senate colleague, Tony Avella, that Queens students also got a raw deal; they have to get to school in the city's largest-sized borough. My district's students also face crossing dangerous intersections and speeders in Forest Hills, Howard Beach, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ozone Park, Woodhaven and Woodside. Students in Broad Channel have had to walk a mile or more to school alongside Crossbay Boulevard, negotiating an area with a lack of sidewalks in many places. It's great that the Department of Education wants to cut bureaucratic waste and save money, but our children's safety must come first."
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Judy Close, Press Secretary
NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
15th Senate District - Satellite Office
66-85 73rd Place
Middle Village, NY 11379