MCPS transportation policy states that buses will be provided to high school students who live more than two miles away from their school. This is a huge inconvenience to students who live less than the required two miles, but more than one.
The county should provide transportation for more students to reduce lengthy walks as well as reduce traffic on Baltimore Road. If Montgomery County gave RHS a few more buses and some of the buses added one or two stops that are close to their current stops, there would be benefits for more than just the students riding the buses.
Morning traffic on Baltimore Road would be greatly reduced since fewer students would have to get rides from their parents or drive themselves. Subsequently, fewer students would be tardy in the morning as a result of the traffic. Fewer cars on Baltimore Road would also mean less wear and tear on the road itself, which is currently being repaired. Furthermore, individuals will save money on gas and reduce pollution from cars.
Students who cannot find rides to school must walk instead which can be difficult and even dangerous. Crossing busy roads like Norbeck poses a threat to student safety, especially in the early morning hours when it is dark outside.
Adding a few stops to some of the buses would give these students more time to get to their stops, and make it easier for them to get there. If Montgomery County gave RHS a few more buses, the routes could be shifted so that the stops better serve specific neighborhoods.
For example, Bus 5202 has two stops in two different neighborhoods on opposite sides of Route 28. Each serves as one stop for an entire neighborhood. If RHS added one bus that would have several stops in the first neighborhood, and several stops in the second, so overcrowding on 5202 would be reduced and getting to their stops would be easier for students.
Montgomery County’s website says that bus stops are provided for elementary school students who live more than one mile away. But Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School provides bus stops for students who live as close as .4 miles away from the school. If buses can be provided for elementary school students who live so close to their schools, then why can’t they be provided for high school students who live significantly further?
MCPS should evaluate each school’s situation and subtract buses and stops to find money to add new ones. The two mile rule does not work efficiently for all schools and better solutions should be explored.