Amy Sliva put forth a good idea at a Peabody School Committee meeting earlier this month: Rather than charging all families for a round-trip bus ticket to school, why not offer one-way tickets, as well?
Many families, it seems, only use the bus one way but are paying $300 a year (with a $600 cap for multi-student families) for a round-trip bus pass. A child participating in an after-school activity, however, doesn’t have the chance to take the bus home.
Sliva, meanwhile, drives her daughter to school in the morning and makes other arrangements to get her home. “I would like her to have the option to take the bus home,” she said. “I’m not going to buy a pass if she’s not going to use it 80 percent of the time.”
Sliva, a member of the Parent Advisory Board, said she’s not sure if the cost should be halved or reduced by a lesser amount.
Still, a significant reduction seems like a fair compromise, one already in use in communities such as Salem, Beverly and Wakefield. The city shouldn’t be charging families for a service they don’t use.
We agree with School Committee member Brandi Carpenter: “It’s a choice that should be available to the parents.”