BHS students carpool to help kids stuck by bus strike - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

BHS students carpool to help kids stuck by bus strike

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For some students atBurlington High School, the strike by CCTA drivers has meant some extraexercise just to get to school.

"I had to walk toschool," student Chantel Read said. "Forty-five minutes."

It's because of studentslike Chantel Read, with no other way to get to school without CCTA buses, that Sabine Rogers and a group ofseniors decided to take matters into their own hands.

"We were sort ofstarting to see the impact of that. A lot of kids were having to walk to school, leave really early in the morningto get an early ride with a parent and a lot more kids who do have cars were having to drive to school. So therewas a lot of traffic congestion, as well," Rogers said.

So, they created a RideShare program that connects students who have cars with students who have hadtrouble getting to school.

"So how it works iswhen you get your number based on where you signed up, you put a pin in whereyou live on the map of Burlington and underneath that pin is your number. Sosomeone can jump on the map and say, 'oh, number 19 lives really close to me,'and then find the coordinating name and information from the signupsheet," Rogers explained.

Ride Share has only beenoperating since Tuesday, but Rogers says they already have about 10 driversgiving up to three students rides to and from school.

Burlington High SchoolPrincipal Amy Mellencamp says Ride Share has been extremely helpful withlowering the number of students coming in late, but there are still some majorissues due to the strike.

"The biggest impacthas been on tardiness. Students coming in late primarily due to the traffic logjam that's been happening in our parking lot, and up and down NorthAvenue," Mellencamp said.

Even as the strike goes onand students rack up the tardies, school administrators say contractingalternate transportation would be costly, but might be something to considerdown the line.

"The school board hassaid they will continue to monitor and address the issues. They're gettingdaily reports on attendance and tardiness," Mellencamp said.

But Ride Share studentdevelopers say they will continue to run as long as the strike does, savingmany students from having to worry about more than just their homework.

Reporter Shelby Cashman:So has this been helpful for you?

Chantel Read: Yes, definitely.

A CCTA driver said that a newnegotiation meeting between CCTA and the union for drivers would take placeFriday, but BHS students say that even if the strike gets resolved, they aim tocontinue Ride Share, saying it helps them connect with students they might nototherwise meet.

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