Busing Issues At Ericsson In Moline - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Busing Issues At Ericsson In Moline

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Protesters kept up the pressure at a third public meeting about the future of Ericsson Elementary school in Moline.

Parents have been loudest about that school for several reasons.

One of those is safety, they want to know how their kids will get to a new school.

The District says the city bus is a viable option.

Moline students make up two thousand of the daily riders on Metrolink.

The bus system actually adds extra busses during peak ridership times when kids are traveling to and from school.

However, parents in the Floreciente neighborhood say the idea of sending an elementary student on a public bus scares them.

Former Ericsson Student Antonio Varela says, "I've taken the school route, and it's public there is people, and it's not just students on the bus."

He says parents in the Floreciente neighborhood want to be able to walk their kids to school. They don't believe the bus is a safe option, but students who ride the bus now say they like it.

"I love the bus because it's one of my favorite things all my friends are there and you get a ride home and it's kind of fun," says sixth grader Philip Moyer.

He has ridden the bus for the last two years now. He's never seen anybody other than his classmates on it with him.

"Normally no one ever tries to get on because there's no one there really," says Moyer.

The busses are public though and Metrolink says anybody can get on at any stop.

Moline Superintendent David Moyer says they are looking into that concern.

"We're working to try to have pick up and drop off points that are school routes not general ridership routes," says Moyer.

He says Moline is only required to bus its special education students. The district just did a study on transportation needs at Ericsson school last week. It showed 45 percent of students get a ride in a car.

"The number of students and families that are likely to be affected by having to consider taking a bus are less than what seems to be part of the current public conversation," says Moyer.

Sixth grader Bennett Wood also rides the city bus home from school. He says maybe the bus service should run a bus just for elementary students.

"You don't have to worry about older people picking on you, being mean to you, you'll have friends that are from your class," says Wood.

An alternative that may alleviate some parents concerns.

"It's public to anybody in Moline, or anybody that wants to take the bus," says Moyer.

The school board plans to vote on its district plan at the May 13th board meeting.

if it passes, it will take about two years before school buildings begin to close.

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