(WSVN) - Lots of kids catch a ride on the school bus every morning, but as one Broward family found out, getting a seat can be a challenge. 7’s Brandon Beyer explains why their kids couldn’t get a “Ticket to Ride.”
On busy Sheridan Street, cars whiz by at all hours.
That’s just one reason why Madison and Rebecca Bryant don’t like the two-mile walk to and from Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines.
Madison Bryant, wants to ride bus: “It’s so long, and it takes like 45 minutes, and it’s kind of scary because, you know, there’s bad people out there.”
The girls walk, but they’re frustrated because other kids in their neighborhood get to take the bus to school.
Rebecca Bryant, wants to ride bus: “It will just drive past and I’ll think, ‘All those kids get to be on the bus and we can’t because we don’t qualify.'”
Florida law says students have to live more than two miles away from school to qualify for a seat on the bus, but they did get a bus pass last year.
Juanita Bryant, wants bus pass: “I was really confused.”
Juanita went online to research the distance.
Juanita Bryant: “I googled different maps online, and most of them said we live two or more miles from the school. I went and I presented it to the school and the school said internet maps are not accurate.”
Juanita decided to walk the route and measured the distance with two different GPS devices.
Juanita Bryant: “They both came up with more than two miles from our home to the school.”
Broward Schools Department of Student Transportation did their own test and sent the family a notice saying their measurements showed the distance at 1.84 miles.
Juanita Bryant: “I can’t even carpool with another family in our neighborhood because they all qualify for the bus, so I don’t have other resources to get our girls to school.”
Every Oct. 1, all Broward students who live closer than two miles from school are allowed to apply for bus seat passes that aren’t being used. The Bryant family did that and were granted passes, but the only available seats were on bus routes miles away from their neighborhood.
Juanita Bryant: “It is ridiculous. At that point, it doesn’t benefit my kids.”
7News asked Broward County Public Schools for a comment. They declined an interview, but said they make an effort to “work with families to resolve any issues.”
The day after we reached out to them about the Bryant family, Madison brought home some good news.
Juanita Bryant: “She said, ‘We got our bus passes!’ And it’s just a huge weight that’s lifted.”
Rebecca Bryant: “We don’t have to be worrying about if we are going to have to walk and be late, or if I’m going to get rained on, or if we are going to be all sweaty when we get to school.”
Juanita Bryant: “Because of you, my girls have a bus pass to get to school and from school safely. Channel 7 News — you guys did it.”
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