COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – School budget votes have now come and gone, with many capital improvement projects, reserve funds, and bus purchases getting the greenlight from the taxpayers.
Meanwhile, voters in the city of Cohoes gave the greenlight for middle and high school students to take CDTA buses to school, a policy currently in practice in the Albany City School District.
Under New York State law neither district is required to provide transportation for their students because the vast majority live within walking distance of their school.
The superintendent of Cohoes schools says she wanted to make sure all her students were getting to school safely.
“I have to tell you when I first came [to Cohoes] and I mentioned the “b” word here in Cohoes- Buses,” says Superintendent Jennifer Spring. “Because I thought well isn’t that strange there’s no busing for our students and I was told oh no, there’s no buses here in Cohoes.”
Presently, many students have to walk along train tracks and cross over major roads like 787, Columbia Street and Bridge Avenue.
Spring says the current arrangement can also have effects on school attendance.
“Especially on bad weather days, our attendance takes a big hit,’ she says.”
After looking into the matter, the district found that choosing CDTA could work and would cost less than adding buses and drivers to their yellow school bus fleet.
“If we were to buy a bus, I think that’s $80,000 or something like that,” says Spring. “So it’s not really something that we could afford in our budget. so this was really a cost-effective way.”
Starting in September, middle and high school students will get a CDTA swipe card. Students will be allowed to use the cards to get to their part-time jobs or internships as well.
“CDTA, they are the experts in transportation,” says Spring. “Very safe. A lot of cameras. There is a model that the Albany City School District has, and we did observe and it’s very very successful there.”
To accommodate the influx of students, CDTA will add four buses along three new routes to coincide with school arrival and dismissal times.