Speak Out:17,000 student COTA passes deactivated by CCS

"people mover" by Flickr user fensterbme.

"people mover" by Flickr user fensterbme.

Recently, Columbus City Schools temporarily suspended secondary students’ COTA bus passes. Until last week, the seven year-old program provided more than 17,000 high school students with free rides on COTA buses. CCS deactivated service for students on Friday, Jul. 24, following the conclusion of the district’s summer-school term.

The decision to deactivate student COTA passes comes more than a month after the Columbus Board of Education voted to reduce the number of high school bus stops from 1,466 to 205. High school students will now have to walk to the closest open CCS school or other location(s) designated by the district to catch their bus to school; 90 percent of those students are within 2 miles of their new bus stops.

The district’s current contract with COTA, paid in full, runs through September of this school year. One-way service on COTA costs riders $1.75; an express pass costs $2.50. District students have been paying the full price since last week.

CCS officials have indicated that students will be issued new COTA bus passes with a magnetic swipe card to verify the validity of the passes. The district has previously stated that the mass deactivation was not a result of inappropriate student behavior on COTA, and that the bus pass replacement process could begin as early as August.

The CEA Blog wants to know:

What is your opinion regarding the district’s decision to deactivate more than 17,000 student bus passes? What do you think will be the long and short-term effects of this decision will be for teaching and learning in your classroom?

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