Costs spike to transport homeless students to school

As the number of homeless students continues to rise in Michigan, school districts across the state are struggling to transport and educate them.

Sometimes, schools pay a taxi service to transport homeless students back to the school they attended before they became homeless. Assisting with transportation is required under federal law.

Schools in Washtenaw County spent $5,234 transporting homeless children by taxi in October 2010. This year, the October cab bill spiked to $9,223 for a county that has seen a 40% increase in the number of homeless students in the last two years at 10 school districts and 11 charter schools. Most of the bill ($8,139) was paid by the districts, not the federal government.

"We have families who are moving every three or four days," said Peri Stone-Palmquist, who is in charge of the homeless program for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. "We feel like we are drowning with the number of families that are calling for help."

Other districts don't have taxi service and rely on busing or give parents gas cards to defray costs.

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Bendy bus makes final journey for Transport for London

bus travel

The last of London's bendy buses was taken off the roads on Friday night.

The vehicles were used on 12 routes over the past decade but Mayor Boris Johnson called them "cumbersome machines" which were too big for narrow streets and encouraged fare-dodgers.

He has ordered nearly 500 new buses to replace them and promised more vehicles on the routes during the rush hour.

But campaigners said they were "the most accessible bus in London" and would be missed by wheelchair users.

The final route to be operated with bendy buses has been the 207 between Hayes and White City, and the last of the long vehicles was to run late on Friday.

Transport for London (TfL) predicted it would increase its takings by £7.4m because fare-evasion would now become harder.

The "hop-on, hop-off" style of the bendy buses, with few checks on tickets, had encouraged thousands of people to avoid paying.
'Frequently stranded'

But Transport for All, which speaks for older and disabled transport users, said TfL was "nuts" to scrap the vehicles, especially as their new Routemaster-style replacements had only "a tiny wheelchair space".


Guernsey school bus travel rules delayed

school bus

The introduction of a minimum travel distance for children to qualify to use Guernsey school buses has been delayed The environment department planned to start the restrictions from Monday, but has delayed it until the New Year.

The new measures means pupils who travel less than a mile to school will be barred from using the service The delay is to allow the department to consult further having only received responses from five schools to the proposed changes.

The move follows complaints from parents and schools that some children had been unable to catch the bus as seats were taken by those who lived much closer.