by Alyssa Castro
photo courtesy of Merced Sun-Star’s Bea Ahbec
Late last year, Merced High School Districts bus routes were cut to students that lived within five miles of their respective high schools. This burdened many high school students and their families with the task of finding their own way to get to school, a safe way to return home and continue to perform well in class. However, a small victory was achieved as the school district recently reinstated busing through an emergency board meeting.
Walk Your Talk was formed by a group of concerned parents, students and community members who came together to hear each others struggles and turn their frustrations around the school transportation issue into action. Approaching the school board various times with stories of the obstacles they faced with getting to and from school, Walk Your Talk kept pressure on the school board to reinstate busing.
In wanting to hear from those students directly affected by busing cuts, We’Ced partnered with BHC Voices to conduct a survey of over 300 MUHSD students. The portion of students that were reflected in the survey showed that a significant portion of students who rode the bus last year were without secure and reliable transportation this year. You can read more about our the survey results in Diego Sandoval’s School Transportation story.
After many meetings and hours of commitment, it seemed as though the efforts of all the combined forces had been recognized by the school board and the struggles from the community were heard. On March 27th a special board meeting reinstated four morning bus routes, relief was felt from all around the room. Although the groups have gained a small victory, there is more to be done as this reinstatement is just for the rest of the 2012-2013 school year and not permanently. Groups will continue to be updated on the status of the new routes, attending school board meetings and informing others of how they’re voices can be heard.
Click over to the next page to see a detailed description of each reinstated bus route, complete with pick up locations and times.