THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
A NEW LOOK AT BUSING IN BOSTON

System's efficiencies need an overhaul

February 5, 2009
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RE "SCHOOL buses' vacant seats costing Hub" by James Vaznis (Page A1, Feb. 2): I couldn't disagree more with Richard Jacobs, transportation director for the school department, when he says, "We always strive to be more efficient, but I believe we do an excellent job, given the demands this city presents." There is nothing excellent about the job the bus system does.

The article cites a survey that found that Boston had the second-highest utilization rate, at 5.9 routes per bus per day, well above a national median of 3.9 routes. Some might boast that this represents efficiency, but this utilization rate causes my son's bus to be late every day, sometimes by five minutes, sometimes more than 30. This causes my daughter to then be late to her school, and me to be late for work, day after day. After multiple complaints to the bus department since the beginning of the school year, I finally spoke to someone yesterday who is working to provide a solution.

It is high time that something gets fixed in this broken bus system. First, Jacobs needs to realize that 5.9 routes per bus per day cause major breakdowns in service. Second, the bus department needs to provide better customer service.

Sharon Shiner
Jamaica Plain

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