Last week, we reported that the Federal Transit Administration might impose a new rule that could make it illegal for public agencies, such as AC Transit, to offer special bus routes to schools. The move is apparently an attempt to help private, “yellow school bus” companies (which may or may not be interested in providing service in Oakland to begin with) remain competitive.
In response, Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s office sent this release today:
(Washington D.C.) – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) on Monday, June 9, 2008 issued the following statement in response to a proposal by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that would ban public transit agencies from providing supplemental school transportation service for students who would otherwise be forced to find alternative means of transportation to school:
“I am concerned with the Federal Transit Administration’s proposed policy regarding school bus service, and its potential to negatively impact school children in my district,” Congresswoman Lee said. “Instead of looking for ways to make it more difficult for kids to get to school, the FTA should be expanding transportation options for our students.
“I will be sharing my concerns directly with the Federal Transit Administration during the open public comment period, and I encourage those who will be negatively affected by this proposed policy to do the same.”
What do you make of this controversy, and how do you think such a change would affect Oakland families (and schools)? Anyone remember a time when the district provided yellow school bus service? If you’re wondering which schools have these special AC Transit routes, scroll to the bottom of the page on this Web site and check out the “schools” list.
Want to give the feds feedback on the proposal? You can submit a comment online at: http://www.regulations.gov, or fax it to: 202-493-2251. The proposal is listed under Docket No. FTA-2008-0015.
Tribune photo by Alex Molloy