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Riding the Bus Not an Option Here

Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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Riding the Bus Not an Option Here

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When bus transportation was discontinued at San Jose's Bagby  Elementary School as a result of budget cuts, two women teamed up and  organized parent-led walking groups to take their kids to school.

     Christie Styer, whose daughters Hannah and Emily attend the  school, was inspired to start the "walking school buses" program after  reading an article on International Walk to School Day.
   
 Styer told walking partner Dana Lancaster about implementing the  idea as a daily activity at Bagby, and the two of them discussed it with  school Principal Kathy Kimpel.
     
"I think it's great," Kimpel said. "We have a lot more people  walking, a lot less cars. It's like a lifestyle change really."
     
The "Bagby Walk and Roll" program ensures kids reach school safely  and reduces traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
     
Today, Styer's group of 20 students was joined on their 15-minute  walk by Kimpel, Cambrian School District Superintendent Deborah Blow, as well  as Mayor Chuck Reed, Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, and police Chief Rob  Davis.
     
Blow said nearly 140 kids at Bagby were affected when the school  district discontinued all four of its buses this year.
     
"We've had to make tough decisions," Blow said. "Sometimes when  you're presented with a challenge, you turn it into a positive. Students are  walking more and our community is getting to know each other."
     
Reed urged children to remind their parents to be safe drivers  when dropping them off in the mornings. He encouraged parents to be more  aware in school zones and refrain from contributing to traffic congestion by  committing violations such as double parking, speeding, or stopping in the  middle of the street.

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