A City Hall candidate is urging to remove all school buses and instead, give students bus passes to start using public transit.
Ward 6 candidate, Phil Squire, believes that by following through with this proposal, both school boards, and students would benefit.
“The school bus costs the board money of course,” says Squire. “Any reduction in those kinds of costs would hopefully be put into other areas of education that are directly benefiting kids. The second part is high school students would be able to travel on buses and their routes would be more manageable.”
“I had a son that traveled by school bus to secondary school and it took him an hour every morning to get to school because it took a route that had to pick up a number of different students,” he added.
Not only will routes be more direct, but Squire also believes this is an opportunity for high school students to mature and interact with their community.
However, this could come at the costs of students and parents. When asked who would pay for the bus passes, Squire admitted that’s something that is yet to be decided.
He is hoping the school boards can work with the London Transit Commission, to come up with a reasonable price plan. However, he says parents cannot always rely on school boards since they have too much on their plate.
“We’re in an age where schools can’t be everything,” says Squire. “Teachers and librarians are getting laid off. Those people are losing their jobs. Eventually there’s going to be a choice. Would you rather have your child traveling on a transit bus with low cost or do you want those people to still be in the schools.”
But, Squire believes to make this idea come to action; London needs more buses on the streets.
An annual report by the LTC showed that the service needed major improvement as they reported that there was a 27 per cent increase in the number of times buses have reported full loads.
In terms of LTC’s issue of overcrowding, Squire thinks a bus rapid transit system needs to happen. If not, it could be make-or-break time for LTC.
“We have to go to some kind of rapid transit system,” says Squire. “[We need] main lines and hubs or nodes going off of that. If we don’t go to that system, the system is at a breaking point.”
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