Minimize the distance


Asala Bensahla, Staff Reporter

When that first-morning alarm clock rings it is everybody’s worst nightmare. Some people have to wake up for school, meetings, and work. It is especially the worst for students who walk to school. Many end up having to walk because they are unable to afford transportation, so they wake up extra early to get to school on time. 

The state has made it even harder for students to qualify for bus passes. In accordance with state law, N.J.S.A. 18A:39-1, all public elementary school students who live more than two miles from their school and all public secondary school students who live more than two-and-a-half miles from their school are entitled to transportation. The main reason for needing bus tickets is to get free transportation during the day and not worry about paying just to get to school. 

For the students that struggle with financial issues, they cannot afford to spend $70 on a monthly bus pass. If the state lowers the distance limit to 1.5 miles then more students will be able to qualify for free bus passes from the school. Many students struggle with arriving at school late and having multiple tardies and absences because of this.

UACHS sophomore Kirsten Sibug agrees that something needs to be done. 

“I believe that the state should minimize the distance to 1.5 mi because it’s a struggle for some students,” said Sibug. “It’s hard for students to get up early in the morning and worry about paying for the NJ transit even on the times they struggle with money.”

By minimizing the miles from 2.5 to 1.5 you increase the population that qualifies to receive bus tickets. Decreasing the distance to 1.5 miles is better because students would not have to wake up so early just to walk to and arrive at school. Students will be more focused at school and less tired if they do not have to walk for 20 minutes just to get to school. Many parents are not able to drive their children to school even if it’s a 30-minute walk.

 Sade Mayaki, another sophomore at UACHS, says that transportation is also a recurring inconvenience for her. 

“It’s beneficial to students and even the parents that drop them off at school,” said Mayaki. “My dad drives me and picks me up to and from school. If not, I walk for 20 mins.” 

Unfortunately, the students will have to either continue to walk a tiring amount to the school or pay for the bus to school. The only thing we can really do is hope the state decides to minimize the distance.