Restore Safe and Reliable Transportation for Calgary Students

Days before school opened, parents received details on massive changes to the CBE's transportation strategy. Children in the public system are now expected to walk as far as 1.6 to 2.5 km to congregated bus stops, and sometimes more. At the same time, a significant number of middle school students have been shifted to Calgary Transit, and subsidies eliminated. Although parents have been asking for details on the CBE transportation strategy since May, the changes have created a nightmare for families as school begins.

We request that:
• stakeholders in public education put safety first, requiring the CBE to restore walk times to bus stops to previous levels.
• true public consultation on transportation strategies take place immediately.
• an independent financial review of transportation fees take place, including Calgary Transit fees paid by parents.

BACKGROUND
• Parents report that children as young as 6 are expected to walk 1.5 km to reach bus stops.
• Older students (Grade 5 and up) may walk 2.5 km. Families are reporting walks as far as 10 km.
• In winter, this walk would take place in dark and icy conditions. Buses don't always show up on time, and sometimes not at all. Some families report that ride times have also increased.
• Parents are now juggling childcare and transportation issues with next to no notice.
• In the middle of an economic downturn, families are forced to choose between the safety of their children and the security of their employment.

This publicly funded, billion dollar corporation, entrusted with the care of Calgary's children, has ignored their own rules about consultation, reduced safety for children across Calgary, doubled bus fees for a significant number of students, and withheld critical information until the last minute. The threat to the safety of children and the employment of their parents is not a game.

calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/first-school-day-creates-stress-anger-over-new-congregated-bus-stops

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CBE's new transportation strategy, revealed only days before the start of school, is a nightmare for Calgary parents. The threat to the safety of children and the employment of their parents is not a game. We request that:
• stakeholders in public education require the CBE to restore walk times to bus stops to previous levels.
• true public consultation on transportation strategies take place immediately.
• that an independent financial review of transportation fees take place, including Calgary Transit fees paid by parents.

Thank you.

Update #51 years ago
Last Tuesday, CAPSC walked 1.8 km with concerned municipal and provincial representatives before presenting CBE trustees with a copy of this petition. You can continue to use the stakeholder form and voice@capsc.ca email to share and record your concerns with MLAs - just visit www.capsc.ca.
Update #41 years ago
Have your concerns about transportation been addressed by stakeholder actions to date? If not, consider emailing a brief update on what your family is experiencing to parentvoice@capsc.ca. Please visit our website for full details on our 'Walk a Kilometre in My Shoes' call to action. This event targets Calgary's decision-makers, asking them to see for themselves what it is like to walk 1.8 km at a child's pace.

capsc.ca/2015/09/walk-a-kilometre-in-my-shoes/
Update #31 years ago
On September 21, CAPSC met with Education Minister David Eggen to discuss how changes to bus transportation are affecting families. We asked that he ensure true public consultation take place, along with an independent financial and procedural review. Most important, we urged that walk distances be restored before the snow flies. You can contact the Minister to let him know if your concerns have been addressed - visit www.capsc.ca and use the stakeholder feedback form link.
Update #21 years ago
Although the CBE recently announced that walk limits to bus stops will be within 1.6 - 1.8 km, fundamental problems still exist with consolidated stops. No true consultation has occurred. We are disappointed that we must continue to publicly advocate for the most important stakeholders in this scenario - our children.
Please consider attending the 12 p.m. board meeting on Tuesday, September 15th at the Education Centre to see how trustees speak to this issue.
Update #11 years ago
The rising number of signatures on this petition suggests that many parents share our concerns. On Tuesday, September 8, Alberta's Education Minister Dave Eggen will take questions from listeners on CBC's Alberta @ Noon program. Please call in to let him know your thoughts and how the changes are affecting children. The phone number is 1-866-468-4422, talkback is 1-800-461-9219 and the show's email is albertaatnoon@cbc.ca.
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