Thursday, August 20, 2009

CMS to kids: Walk

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 10:21 AM

There ya go, CMS. Work on two problems at once: Childhood obesity and the budget.

I don't want to hear any kids or parents complaining about this, either. Remember, way back in the day, when we walked to school? It will not hurt the kiddos to walk a few blocks to meet the bus.

What I'm worried about is this: Does this mean the already underpaid, under-appreciated bus drivers will be working fewer hours? (Bet so.)

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is saving about $3 million by booting 2,900 kids off the bus and making many others walk a bit further, officials said today.

This year's changes mean CMS will have about 100 fewer buses on the road than last year. The fleet of 1,155 will drive about 11,000 fewer miles each day, transportation director Carol Stamper said.

Some of the changes have been in the works for two years. CMS worked with UNC Charlotte to create “common stops” in almost 200 neighborhoods, rather than having buses snake down residential streets stopping in front of so many homes.

Most kids still won't be hiking far. Stamper said the maximum house-to-stop trek is .2 of a mile for elementary students and .4 for middle and high school. The average is 0.12 miles, up from 0.07 last year, she said.

“That is less than halfway around one of our high school tracks,” Superintendent Peter Gorman noted.

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