Parents concerned over losing school bus

Posted at 7:53 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 19:54:13-04

Tuesday night, parents went to the Martin County School Board meeting to express their concern about the loss of bus service this fall for about a hundred kids who live in Palm City.

The service was added nearly two years ago, and paid for by the state, as work was being done to widen Martin Highway so kids didn't have to cross the busy street under construction.  Now that the road is finished, the bus is being discontinued and kids will either have to be driven or walk, which involves crossing a now four-lane road.

 “Our kids can’t walk these roads.  No way, they’re little kids," said mom Jeannine Lezza.

Martin School Superintendent Laurie Gaylord says safety is always a concern in the district.  She added this comes down to two things, state statute, and money.
Bus transportation is only for those who live more than two miles from school.

“They are under the two mile mark so they will not be provided transportation by the district," said Gaylord.

Martin County's current transportation budget is over $5.1 million dollars with $3.1 million provided by the state.  There were no breakout costs at Tuesday's meeting to define how much keeping one particular route would be.

Kelli Carregal says her middle school age daughter has almost been hit twice on her bike, and brought to tears.

“Very very scared.  Didn’t ride her bike for a long time after that," said Carregal.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve only received a few complaints about road safety.   The big safety concern from their vantage point is speeding since the posted speed limit is 35 MPH.

There are crossing guards posted at five intersections along Martin Highway now and the district says it will look at posting more if necessary.