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Busing Cutbacks Lead Indy Schools To Push Carpooling

A school district that discontinued busing is now working to get parents to carpool.

Franklin Township Busing

Photo: Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana

Parents wait in line to pick up their students from Franklin Township Middle School East on the first day of school Wednesday, August 10. The district instituted monthly fees for students to ride buses after steep cuts to its transportation budget.

Franklin Township schools in Indianapolis are working with Central Indiana Commuter Systems to on a pilot “school pool” program to match families for carpooling to school.

Franklin Township discontinued free bus transportation to and from school due to a budget deficit and a failed referendum, causing huge backups on the first day of school as parents scrambled to make other arrangements. A pay-to-ride bus system is in place but many parents have chosen not to participate.

Bunker Hill Elementary School Principal Brook Wessel-Burke said many people are already carpooling.

“It’s probably going to assist those who are new to our area or don’t know as many people, so that they can work something out,” she said.

Burke said after making some adjustments after the first few days of school, transportation has been more efficient and parents have been cooperative.

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