Papillion parent lives too close for school bus pickup, student struggles to find ride

For most districts buses only pick up those kids living four miles or more from school
Many parents of students starting high school are reaching for a map.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 10:59 PM CDT
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - Many parents of students starting high school are reaching for a map.

For most districts, buses only pick up those kids living four miles or more from school.

Three miles from Papillion South 14-year-old Victoria lives a mile too close for school bus pickup.

“Bring a bus out so I can get to school safely like every other student does and not worry about getting ran over,” said Victoria.

The distance to school isn’t why she’s afraid to walk it’s the hazards along the way.

”It’s kind of hard to walk in the grass when there’s so much traffic. The other option is cross the busy road and try to walk that way,” said Victoria.

The single mother who is also a domestic violence survivor can’t afford a car so she’s desperately looking for a safe way for her daughter can get to Papillion South.

“You’re asking me after teaching my daughter not to get into cars with strangers to take an uber which I can’t afford every day back and forth,” said mother Angela.

The Papillion La Vista District budgets for about 30 bus routes and adding more for secondary students living closer than four miles from school isn’t affordable.

“It’s a concern in our school district and it’s something we’ve looked at. What if we went to the three-mile limit but it’s just a cost factor honestly. It comes down to do you pay to add a whole bunch of extra bus routes or add another teacher to keep the class size down,” said Annette Eyman, Papillion La Vista schools.

So parents searching for transportation options have to do a lot of homework.

Another avenue for parents desperate to find transportation for their children to high school can turn to social media like neighborhood apps and maybe find other students to carpool or ride share.

But that raises safety concerns for Victoria and her mother.

“They’re basically asking me to take rides with people I don’t know and I don’t know a lot of people.”

And with limited income paying Victoria’s fair share in ride-sharing won’t be easy.

“We do a lot of trying to help with carpooling and coordinating some of that so we’re going to do everything we can to make sure our students get to school,” said Eyman.

Riding a bus would make student life less stressful for the incoming freshman. But finding another safe way to school is Victoria’s first big assignment.

“It doesn’t really matter what type of bus I just want to get to school and learn like every other student does,” said Victoria.

And trusting strangers to help will be a major test for her mother.

Papillion La Vista Community Schools start the fall semester Thursday.

Angela says she met with school staff asking for help in finding a safe ride for her daughter. She hopes to find an option before the bell rings in the morning.

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