Budget cuts trim LAUSD bus service

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A student walks past a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school bus in Los Angeles, California on February 13, 2009.

More than 50,000 L.A. Unified students will feel the effects this month of a $9 million cut to the school district’s transportation budget.

State funding cuts are forcing L.A. Unified to eliminate bus service to five schools, including Westchester High. Bus service for students with disabilities will continue. But pickup locations will change for magnet school students and for students enrolled in Public School Choice and the Permits with Transportation program.

In recent years L.A. Unified’s scaled .back bus transportation for students as neighborhood schools have become less crowded. The district still provides bus service to several thousand students who must cross train tracks or other hazards to get to school. The head of L.A. Unified’s transportation division said the district’s working to ensure that the bus service cuts won’t endanger students.

"We realize many students may have to walk a little farther to and from their traditional bus pick-up locations or school of attendance, which will impact some students and families,'' said LAUSD Transportation Director Enrique Boull't.

Boull't said the district was working "to ensure continued transportation services for our students and address any safety concerns associated with these untimely but necessary changes.''

Many will have to go to alternate pick-up sites, while others -- including some students at Lane Elementary School, Westchester High School and Palms, Revere and Wright middle schools --
will lose service altogether, according to the district.

Information about student transportation is available online at http://transportation.lausd.net or by calling (800) LABUSES (522-8737).

KPCC wire services contributed to this report.

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