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Columbus City Schools Temporarily Pulls COTA Bus Program for Students

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation Columbus City Schools Temporarily Pulls COTA Bus Program for Students

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  • #82813

    BCNation
    Participant

    Kids pay high price without free bus rides

    Friday, July 30, 2010

    BY BILL BUSH

    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    Columbus school district taxpayers already have paid $520,000 so that every high-school student could have unlimited bus rides through the end of September. Students used the bus passes almost 3.9 million times between January 2008 and the end of last month. Hundreds of thousands of those rides were in the summer, according to records provided by the Central Ohio Transit Authority.

    MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/07/30/kids-pay-high-price-without-free-bus-rides.html?sid=101

    #392109
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Your original thread topic of “COTA Pulls the Plug on Columbus City School Bus Passes” was a bit misleading, so I updated it.

    #392110

    Twixlen
    Participant

    I believe it’s pulled for athletes, yes?

    The part that I find weird and stupid is that Columbus Public already OWNS the necessary bus passes? What, exactly, are they going to do with them?

    #392111

    mrsgeedeck
    Participant

    This might be speculation on my part, but this sounds like a budgetary issues to me. I can understand for CCPL’s perspective that they don’t want to continue paying for bus passes when school is not in session and want to be responsible with tax payers money. Perhaps they can meet with this other programs and work out a deal to share the costs.

    #392112
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    It’s not a budget issue. The passes are already paid for (and will not be refunded), so there is $0 cost saving from pulling them.

    Although there’s no official statement from the school on the issue, I overheard an interesting conversation yesterday between a cop and two irate students on this issue. The students complained they could no longer get to work. The cop replied that students were abusing the passes –i.e. traveling to rival neighborhoods to start fights, going places after curfew, etc. The students replied by asking why everyone should be punished for a few bad eggs.

    Their conversation ended in a stalemate, but at least it provided me with some perspective on what otherwise seems like an inexplicable decision.

    The article above specifically denies the passes were pulled for behavior issues, but that may just be a face saving statement by CPS. The cop also suggested that there might be liability issues for CPS if their students get in trouble while traveling on their free bus passes –I don’t know if that is correct or not.

    #392113

    gk
    Member

    ChrisSunami wrote >>
    It’s not a budget issue. The passes are already paid for, so there is no cost saving from pulling. Although there’s no official statement from the school on the issue, I overheard an interesting conversation yesterday between a cop and two irate students on this issue. The students complained they could no longer get to work. The cop replied that students were abusing the passes –i.e. traveling to rival neighborhoods to start fights, going places after curfew, etc. The students replied by asking why everyone should be punished for a few bad eggs.
    Their conversation ended in a stalemate, but at least it provided me with some perspective on what otherwise seems like an inexplicable decision.
    The article above specifically denies the passes were pulled for behavior issues, but that may just be a face saving statement by CPS. The cop also suggested that there might be liability issues for CPS if their students get in trouble while traveling on their free bus passes –I don’t know if that is correct or not.

    Perhaps it’s part of the mayor’s crackdown on summer violence which has spiked significantly in Columbus.

    #392114

    berdawn
    Member

    This is a real shame. One of the tremendous advantages of parenting in the city is that children can have greater independence/mobility.

    #392115
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    I think it is pulled for everyone, at least that is what a notice on the bus said.

    #392116

    BCNation
    Participant

    Channel 4 did a story on this last night, and my opinion comes on two sides.

    PRO pulling the passes:
    Most of the “students” I’ve seen get on the bus are nothing but rude, wannabe gangbangers, who have no respect for authority, no social skills, no manners, and BAD parenting.

    CONS:
    As mentioned with the H.S. athletes who have to quit, because they can’t get to practice, because they live on another side of town. Columbus is this year’s Southwestern City Schools, in my opinion, because District leaders are punishing the (few) CCS students who are attempting to do something with their futures.

    #392117

    Im suspicious
    Participant

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with the way the passes work students simply have to show their school I.D.’s to the bus driver and they check if it is the current year listed on the card. Since there is no electronic record of who is using the pass pretty much anyone can use them as long as they cover the photo on the I.D. which I’ve heard many do. This is because if they lose their pass, have a friend or relative with them who is not a CCS student they can use almost any one’s pass. The new passes will have magnetized strips on them so they know who is using them although it doesn’t help if the driver doesn’t compare the I.D. photo with the person who is using it. So some of these issues supposedly involving CCS students may be individuals who are not actual CCS students.

    It’s sad for the players and the teams of those kids who have to quit or are forced to miss practices until schools starts. Many will be behind their team mates. It’s high time the CCS be held accountable for it’s continual mistakes.

    #392118

    Im suspicious
    Participant

    …and yes the passes are pulled for everyone

    #392119

    heresthecasey
    Participant

    ChrisSunami wrote >>
    The article above specifically denies the passes were pulled for behavior issues, but that may just be a face saving statement by CPS.

    I’ll bet this is it as well.

    #392120
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Superintendent: COTA passes were pulled for misbehavior
    Friday, July 30, 2010
    BY BILL BUSH
    The Columbus Dispatch

    Saying Superintendent Gene Harris has done “a disservice to our students,” the vice president of the Columbus Board of Education will urge her colleagues Tuesday to order Harris to reinstate COTA bus passes for high-school students.

    Harris, speaking publicly for the first time since passes were abruptly pulled last weekend, changed the district’s official stance on why they were pulled, saying today that student “misbehavior” on buses was behind it.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/07/30/Superintendent-say-COTA-passes-pulled-for-bad-behavior.html?sid=101

    #392121

    ja
    Member

    Walker wrote >>
    Superintendent: COTA passes were pulled for misbehavior
    Friday, July 30, 2010
    BY BILL BUSH
    The Columbus Dispatch
    Saying Superintendent Gene Harris has done “a disservice to our students,” the vice president of the Columbus Board of Education will urge her colleagues Tuesday to order Harris to reinstate COTA bus passes for high-school students.
    Harris, speaking publicly for the first time since passes were abruptly pulled last weekend, changed the district’s official stance on why they were pulled, saying today that student “misbehavior” on buses was behind it.
    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/07/30/Superintendent-say-COTA-passes-pulled-for-bad-behavior.html?sid=101

    Why is it that our public officials feel the need to outright lie to the public as to the real reasons for making a decision? Shame on you Gene Harris. You should know better.

    #392122

    econJoe
    Participant

    I’ve ridden COTA’s #2 and #10 routes many times with high school students. The vast majority of them cause no trouble at all, but, of course, the one incident where there was a lot of trouble is the one that I remember most clearly. In that incident, students were harassing other passengers with epithets and intimidating gestures. The bus driver could have totally ended the entire situation immediately by telling the students to get off the bus immediately.

    I think that COTA should have simply reminded its drivers with a training session that it is their responsibility to keep the passengers in the bus under control and that, if they can’t, they have to 1) ask the passengers to disembark from the bus or 2) call the police. Ultimately, any passengers can be trouble on public transit. I don’t think taking away every student’s bus pass is the solution; enforcement of COTA’s rules is.

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