IPS approves transportation changes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — A new transportation policy passed through the Indianapolis Public Schools board and now thousands of kids will have to walk to school in August. 

The district is moving 2,000 more students off school buses and on to walk zones with crossing guards. This applies to students who live within about a mile of their school. 

Six hundred high school students will take an IndyGo bus as long as their trip is less than an hour and has no transfers. The district says nearly 90% of these students would have a shorter route on an IndyGo bus than their current bus. 

IPS and IndyGo created a partnership program starting in the 2018-2019 school year. All high school students get an annual pass that connects to their student ID. It provides them access on the weekends and in the summer at no cost. 

The new transportation plan says yellow school buses will only serve students who live a certain distance away from school. 

Parent Dominique Jackson doesn’t agree with the board’s decision, especially with young students walking to school. 

“To keep the kids safe, I believe the schools and everyone needs to get involved and keep the buses running,” she said. 

A big reason for the change, the district says they currently spend double the amount per student in transportation costs than other urban school districts around the country. 

The plan will help IPS on its $18 million shortfall.