Grassroots effort in Merced to bring buses back

December 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Parents in Merced have taken matters into their own hands, creating an underground, grass-roots effort to bring buses back to the Merced Union High School District.

Last spring, district leaders agreed to cut bus transportation in certain areas. Students who live within a five mile radius of their high school now walk, catch a ride, or take the city bus to school.

The move saved the district more than a million dollars.

Since September, parents have gotten increasingly upset. They created the "walk your talk coalition." The group is composed of concerned community members, parents, students and residents, and local agencies.

They put a video together, documenting the student's daily walk to school. A narrator echoes students thoughts during their walk. One student says "I don't feel safe walking through this but this is what kids go through every day to go to school."

The video lasts for 3 minutes, and features various portions of the route to school. "The routes that have been eliminated are often dangerous to walk and I fear a student will eventually get hurt walking to and from school."

Local parents, Jennifer Sanchez and Steven Walters regularly attend the meetings to address the school's transportation problems. Sanchez tells Action News, "we have serious issues that we want to address we are open to doing anything we can to keep the kids safe but we've run out of ideas".

Steven Walters says, the past few months have been flat out dangerous. "We're hoping to show the board the danger the kids are in the type of people they run into at these places."

Parents say they'll be setting up an individual appointment with board members to discuss alternatives.


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