With the first day of school quickly approaching, Boston Public Schools announced they have expanded a program that gives free T passes to all students grade 7-12. This means more students could be taking the all ready struggling MBTA to and from school.
In September, all Boston students in grades 7-12 living and attending school in Boston (so not just BPS) will receive an MBTA “M7” pass through their school. Previously the service was only available for high school students and there had been a requirement that a student had to live outside a certain distance from their school (1.5 to 2 miles).
According to MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo, “Because ridership always increases in September, the MBTA adjusts its service delivery schedules accordingly. For decades, the T has worked closely with Boston Public Schools to help make sure students get to school and back home safely and efficiently.”
Even though 10,000 more passes will be distributed to students, this does not necessarily translate into 10,000 more riders. Many of the students receiving these passes are already riding the T or will continue to walk and ride their bikes to school.
City Councilor at-Large Michelle Wu believes more student T passes is a step in the right direction for transit equality but there is still a lot of work to done to improve the over-all MBTA issues – including delays/derailments causing students to be late for school.
According to the Boston Herald, City Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty, has serious concerns about the new influx of students depending on the MBTA. At-Large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George told the Herald there is anxiety attached to her own children taking the MBTA when it comes to the student’s safety.
Editor’s note – Two of my children take the MBTA to and from school and like any rider on the MBTA, there have been issues like buses not showing up, buses stuck in traffic, delays on the commuter rail, to just general MBTA shenanigans. It’s been a somewhat reliable transit system for students, but there is always room for improvement.
Does your child or will your child rely on the MBTA to get to school? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.