Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Questions Regarding Roosevelt Island School Bus Service Answered - Now Get On the Magic Bus With The Who

You Tube Video of The Who's Magic Bus

A reader of this post on the first day of direct non-stop school bus service from Roosevelt Island to the Lower Lab school asks the following questions:
I don't know if anyone out there can answer any of these questions, but...

1. How long does it take?

2. Are there any other Manhattan schools that offer bus service to RI?

3. Is it ever a problem getting bus service from the Manhattan side of the tram to any school?

(My kid isn't in school yet, and we don't know if we want to stay on RI long-term.)
Another reader provides some answers.
1) I don't really know. The bus leaves at 7:20am and gets the kids to school in time.

2) There are quite a few other buses picking up children on Roosevelt Island but I do not know what routes they take (UNIS is one of them). DOE regulation is that you need at least 11 children in order to create a route.

3) No. You can always take the tram and catch a bus on the other side of the river. That's what most kids do.
Hope that helps. If anyone else has more information, please let us know. More on Roosevelt Island schools here.

For the older kiddies, enjoy the Who's Magic Bus. The little one's can still have Scholastic's Magic Bus.


RI 360 said...

I actually spoke a ways back, after reading the first posts here on this blog, to John Moore at Jessica Lappin's office. When references are made to the DOE it should be noted that Mr. Moore did indeed speak to the Office of Pupil Transportation which is within the DOE and controls all bus decisions.

My understanding per my wife, who has researched this for our child's school, is that a school like Lower Lab had a good shot at getting bus service arguing that since it is a Gifted & Talented Program these kids are attending and PS 217 was not meeting the needs of these children that they be entitled to service. Although the OPT site does indicate that G&T programs must qualify the same as Gen Ed Students attending other District 2 non G&T school programs. Reality appears to contradict this as our school has more than 11 willing kids at last count. Mr. Moore did not contradict this belief nor did he confirm it.

My issue is the amount of time the kids are on the bus. Lower Lab is virtually a straight shot up Third Ave at 95th St where the school we attend is clear across town near Eighth Ave and about 12 blocks South. In rush hour traffic my concern is that the kids would be on a bus starting on Roosevelt Island for close to or over an hour.


RI 360 said...


I have copied the URL here with the "http://" as it was being cut off.

Anonymous said...

AFAIK the Lower Lab parents fought really hard to get this bus to Roosevelt Island. It finally became reality. Lower Lab is just a pinch farther away than the allowed five miles maximum distance and the fact that the bus crosses district/borough lines is not much hindrance (see all the kids that are bused over from Long Island City to PS 217). As long as we keep at least 11 kids signed up for the bus we should be able to keep this bus for years to come.

RI360, I assume your kid(s) go to Midtown West (PS 212)? Get all the RI families together and make a stink. Eventually you will get a bus. Now that Lower Lab got a bus you should have some leverage.

RI 360 said...

To Anonymous - Yes, I have one (next year hopefully two) at Midtown West. I heard something last night that the Lower Lab bus is actually shared with PS 6 which should help you keep the total over 11 kids. Is this correct?

Personally I am still concerned about the total time to get to the West Side. I will also admit next year if we were to be sucessful I am concerned about putting a kindergartner on what could be a long trip.

Could one of the older Lower lab kids time how long their trip takes to get to Second Avenue or at least the First Ave ramp so I can get an idea of how long it is taking them to just get over the Bridge?

But yes I would agree and expect your success will ultimately help.