Bus pass program cut for Halifax students
High school students enter a Metro Transit bus on Sept. 7, 2012.
Published Friday, September 7, 2012 7:36PM ADT
Some Halifax students are worried about how they will get to school this year after the Halifax Regional School Board cut a program that provides them with Metro Transit passes.
Student Emma Doucette says it’s a long walk to Citadel High School.
“It’s a forty-minute walk to school and you have to get up earlier in the morning, and if you want a bus pass you have to spend 60 bucks,” she says.
Doucette qualified for a school board-funded program to receive a bus pass in past years. The program was created in order to encourage school attendance and provided $125,000 in bus passes to 225 students, who might otherwise have a tough time getting to school.
“In Nova Scotia, we receive funding from the province for students who live 3.6 kilometres or more away,” says Doug Hadley, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional School Board. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the money for the province to do that with a $10-million budget reduction this year.”
Hadley says the cuts shouldn’t come as a surprise to families, as schools were supposed to inform parents about them in the spring.
However, it still came as a surprise to some.
The cuts are a big problem for a number of students and their parents who live in the Mulgrave Park area, where there is a lot of public housing.
Kathie Clarke has a 15-year-old son at Citadel High School, and two other children who will attend school there in the future.
“It’s going to be hard because I don’t have the income,” says Clarke. “I’m on welfare and stuff like that, so it is hard.”
Today, Doucette was able to scrounge up some change for the bus, but she doesn’t know what she will do once winter comes.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw