How crazy is the Department of Education? Since the DOE eliminated 116 of 2,516 bus routes, students and parents were thrown into chaos. Here are some examples of what happened:
- 6 year old Jenny Gao was given a Metrocard to take a city bus - her 5 year old brother got nothing (somehow, a 6 year old can take a city bus, but a 5 year old...)
- Siblings who go to the same school being told to go to bus stops a mile apart (they would also be dropped off at different locations an hour later than usual)
- 7 year old Joseph Merizalde who would have had to take three city buses (not to mention crossing a 6 lane highway) to get to school in the Bronx
- An 11 year old whose bus was supposed to come at 8:18AM - 18 minutes after school starts
The savings from the bus route cuts is about $12 million; Mayor Bloomberg said, “What we’re trying to do is have bus routes where the kids need them and not to pay bus companies for routes where the kids don’t. But we only have a certain amount of money in this city, and if you want to make sure that your monies are well spent and that we help those we can, it requires looking at programs and seeing whether they are effective."
Okay, we totally get that the city wants to save money where it can. But we're talking about kids, their education, and the city having a $3.9 billion surplus. We think the DOE could have handled the bus route changes a lot better.