The Declining Yellow School Bus

Frank Cammuso Cartoon

I never took a yellow school bus while attending  public schools in Philly in the late 50s through the late 60s.  I walked 3 1/2 blocks to elementary school. I walked 8-9 blocks to junior high school, taking public transportation only in times of  inclement weather or for leaving after an after-school activity.  When high school came around, I took public transportation exclusively, because the walk was far beyond 9 blocks. The school tokens were 75 cents for a pack of 10 in junior high. By the time I was a senior in high school, they were $1.50 for a pack of 10.

The school bus system in Philly had a rather minor presence in transporting children to school during most of my public school years. But  during my times as a child care director,  I saw first hand how the school bus system had become  an intricate blood vessel to Philly school attendance.

Today, school districts are cutting bus service throughout the country due to enlarging budget deficits.  Students who live within a 2 mile radius of their schools in many school districts are loosing service and putting parents in a dilemma they never thought of facing. Just think some parents are now dealing with taking and picking up a one older teen in high school, a younger teen in middle school and a young child in grade school.  I wonder how many students are going to school at home online due to the school transportation budget crisis?

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