Photo by Sydney Trieu

Bus pass fees put on hold

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With the Zonar tracking systems already in place on Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD) buses, the required use of student bus passes will begin on Jan. 19, 2017. There will be no fee for this pass next semester.

The application process has already begun; until Friday, Dec. 9, students will receive informational letters at the bus waiting area asking them to fill out the “Race to the Bus Stop” form at <goo.gl/yB1o39>. The link can also be found on the school’s website, <sghsmatadors.org>. After submitting this information for a preliminary headcount of students who take the bus, students will receive an application for a bus pass from Jan. 4-10 next year.

“We want to make sure the kids who ride the bus are the ones who get the passes,” Amy Rush, principal on Special Assignment for the AUSD, said. “Right now there’s no list of kids who ride the bus and what particular bus, [which is] why the [pass implementation] is taking so long.”

Without a pass, students will not be able to board the bus. If a student loses a pass, they may request a replacement for $5. However, there is no initial fee for the first bus pass.

“No one will be charged because this is a pilot run to make sure everything is established,” Matthew Dultz, assistant principal of Business and Activities, said.

In regards to implementing the bus passes, Rush stated that “there was much to look into,” such as how many students use transport, appropriate training for bus drivers, and general logistics.

“[Because of this], seeing which students need and don’t need to pay [for the pass] wasn’t a priority,” Rush said. “More than anything else, we wanted to roll out the system and see how it works.”

According to Nico Richardson, director of Transportation Services for the AUSD, the possibility of a fee for these passes will be decided at a later date for the 2017-18 school year.

“We’re still collecting data about how many students would need to pay for a pass,” Richardson said. “The fee for a majority of students will be waived, but we’re going to see if the board policy [about charging for passes] will hold for the next school year.”

The bus passes will be distributed from Jan. 17-18.

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