The Boston Public Schools system plans to eliminate bus service for its seventh and eighth grade students next year. Instead of boarding school buses, 4,500 12- and 13-year-olds will receive passes to ride the MBTA to school.
This plan requires budget approval by the Boston City Council, and several councilors have raised significant concerns about its shortfalls. Since the MBTA is not planning to increase service, T riders may find themselves acting as de facto chaperones on more crowded buses, trains, and subway platforms.
The most significant problem, however, is one of educational opportunity. This transportation plan, coupled with the new student assignment system, will force some families to choose between the school to which they want to send their child and their child’s safety getting there and back. This is a choice no parent should have to make.