3 Hours To Get To School? That’s The Hard Truth For Some Kids In Queens

City Councilman Joins Dispute Over Lack Of Yellow Bus Service

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Parents and some lawmakers in Queens are furious over a last-minute decision that’s left kids with no choice but to spend three hours on Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses to get to school.

Now, there’s pressure to reverse that decision, reports CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

With only sixth graders getting yellow bus service, Ann Marie Murphy said she doesn’t understand why her son, along with hundreds of other seventh and eighth graders, can’t get on what are now half-empty yellow buses.

“They’re children,” Murphy said. “They are 11 years old!”

The day before school parents of seventh and eighth graders got a call from administrators saying yellow bus service has been cut off this year at Junior High School 194 in Whitestone.

That’s protocol at the more than 70 public schools in the five boroughs. But in Whitestone the public bus route takes up to three hours, which is why they had been exempt from using MTA buses.

“One of the bus routes its desolated. If the child feels in danger or feels sickly or any reason that they are not comfortable there’s no place to go for protection,” Murphy said.

Now, just to catch the morning bus Murphy’s eighth grader walks 10 blocks from home in College Point. Then the bus drops the child off at Parsons Boulevard where he catches a second bus, which brings him to his middle school in Whitestone.

The way home is even worse. Instead of boarding a yellow school bus right outside school doors like sixth graders do, he has to walk a few blocks and cross Francis Lewis Boulevard — a six-lane road.

At that point Murphy takes an MTA bus to Parsons Boulevard, where he gets on a second bus. That one takes him to College Point Boulevard and 14th Avenue. He then walks nine blocks home.

The Board of Education sent Smith a statement saying, ”For years, on the issue of student transportation, the DOE has gone above and beyond what the state requires, offering busing to students who would not ordinarily be eligible.”

On Monday outside of School 194 City Councilman Dan Halloran met with parents to help them fill out waivers to get yellow bus service back. But it only applies if the bus route has a transfer at an intersection deemed dangerous.

“It makes sense if you live in Manhattan, where there is a school every five bocks and you can throw a stone out the window and hit one — not in the communities like this,” Halloran said.

A ride that normally takes 25 minutes on a school bus is now up to a three-hour trek. Halloran is co-sponsoring a resolution that would require New York City to provide yellow buses to all children grades 3-8 who live more than a mile from school.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments

One Comment

  1. DOC says:

    1 hour there and 1 hour back = 2 hours. 3 – 2 = 1 hour saved. I will not resort to personal attacks, but check your math next time.

    Do you think it is OK to have anyone walk 3 miles through the rain and snow to get to school?

  2. annemarie murphy says:

    I apologize it was hmmmmmm who thought it was a good idea to walk to school, not disgusted. I do not think personally attacks on me are really needed but if that make you happy, good for it… But the Facts are the facts… 11,12,13 are traveling a hour to school and an hour and a half to two hours to get home from a school 3 to 4 mile away. While the same school buses the took last year are still coming to College Point 1/3 maybe more empty.

  3. annemarie murphy says:

    Disgusted,does you 11,12,13 walk to school? My son is very active in a multitude of sports and exercises often,but I thank you for your concern on his exercise regiment! I do not think a 3 miles walk in the rain or snow is the ideal way to start the school day. Do you?

  4. annemarie murphy says:

    Many 7th graders are 11 to be 12 by years end. It is 3.2 miles from my home to school. 4miles for some of the other children. News made a mistake it is three hours round trip not one way.

  5. Hmmmmm says:

    Considering the FURTHEST point between Murphy’s neighborhood and the Whitestone middle school is an hour’s walk, Murphy should go back to school herself for not figuring out that her kid should walk to school. It would save more than two hours travel time, gas, and provide healthy exercise.

  6. Disgusted says:

    Murphy needs to go back to school to learn that 11 year olds are in 5th grade, not 8th grade.

  7. Disgusted says:

    Murphy needs to go back to school to learn that 11 year olds are in 5th grade, not 8th grade

  8. truthhurts says:

    NYC wonders why their graduation rate is so low and their truancy rate is so high.

  9. John says:

    3 hours? I think not.

  10. Diana says:

    That is insane. The funny thing is I don’t think any of the bigwigs in DOE or in City Hall are affected by this. Of course, they are not. Why should they care. Unreal!! This is just cruel. These children have to get up at ridiculous hours just to get to school on time. I imagine they get sleepy through the day. Who knows how they do in school as a result. The fact is they NEVER give the attention to the outer boroughs like they do Manhattan. But rest assured that we are going to remember this come Election Day. DOE and City Hall officials better start dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s.

  11. Lissette says:

    That is insane. The funny thing is I don’t think any of the bigwigs in DOE or in City Hall are affected by this. Of course, they are not. Why should they care. Unreal!! This is just cruel. These children have to get up at ridiculous hours just to get to school on time. I imagine they get sleepy through the day. Who knows how they do in school as a result. The fact is they NEVER give the attention to the outer boroughs like they do Manhattan. But rest assured that we are going to remember this come Election Day. DOE and City Hall officials better start dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s.

  12. K. Kirouac says:

    If it takes 3 hours to get there, then another 3 hours to get home again, plus the time at school, that is too much! Most adults will not be able or willing to do that for their job, so why would anyone expect it of a child?

  13. James- Hmm 263 says:

    Not trying to sound callous, but I took two buses to school when I went to school back in the day… Now the three hours though, find that very hard to believe..

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