Letter: There are budget savings to be found in buses

To the editor:

First, regarding the annual school budget crisis, I recommend a re-thinking of the bus monitor program.

Most of us have watched the school bus morning pick-up drill. To wit,  the bus monitor hops off the bus,  stands by while the children board (often watched by nearby parents as well) and then she walks up and down the bus squatting to check the undercarriage.  Meanwhile, the bus engine is idling as both fuel and time are wasted.

My recollection is that the terrible school bus tragedies that led to employing monitors involved disembarking students, not students boarding the bus.  Therefore wouldn’t it make sense to eliminate the monitors on the morning runs? Unless, of course,  these monitors are another of the onerous unfunded mandates foisted on our towns and taxpayers by the General Assembly. If that should be the case I call on our East Bay legislators to review the law and amend it appropriately.

Secondly, on the RIPTA bus announcement of new service for Tiverton: Applause that management has recognized the need, although limiting service to and from the park-and-ride means that any potential bus riders will need a car and the ability to drive there. That’s fine for the working commuters like me, not so fine for the elderly or poor folks who have no cars and must rely on public transportation.

One wonders, however, given the small population base in Tiverton and Little Compton, why RIPTA would choose its biggest and newest busses for this run.  As a bus rider for more than 40 years,  I suggests that smaller buses running more frequently would be a much better option.

Virginia Butterworth

Tiverton

4 Comments

  1. TomPavao said:

    Dear Mrs. Butterworth,

    Monitors are a state requirement. So, I guess your idea is not going to save money.

    P.S. More pancakes

    • Transplant said:

      “Unless, of course, these monitors are another of the onerous unfunded mandates foisted on our towns and taxpayers by the General Assembly. If that should be the case I call on our East Bay legislators to review the law and amend it appropriately.”

      Reading: it’s FUNdamental.

  2. Joe Sousa said:

    The buses could be fitted with sensors that apply the brake when a person or pet get to close or under the bus . Heavy equipment in quarries use this . The Legislature is this State sucks . Change is not forthcoming .

  3. Diane said:

    A child can be hit either boarding or disembarking from a bus. If one child’s life is saved then it is worth having the monitors. I will say that savings could undoubtedly be realized by more realistic ridership projections, particularly at the Middle and High School levels. I’ve seen practically empty busses leaving the High School at dismissal. I’ve also witnessed scores of parents not using the service and instead dropping off and picking up at school. Fewer busses would definetely have a positive impact on the budget, and would not lower any safety standards.

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