By John Lynds
Following a summer of complaints from East Boston and Charlestown parents regarding the elimination of the Boston Latin School bus from the two neighborhoods for the upcoming school year, Boston Public School’s Chief of Operations John Hanlon announced this week that the buses will be restored.
In a letter to BLS parents and students Hanlon said the Transportation Department will continue to provide a shuttle bus between Eastie and BLS, and between Charlestown and BLS during both the mornings and afternoons during the 2017-18 school year for 7th and 8th grade students.
“We hope that this will make commuting easier for our students,” said Hanlon. “BLS students who live in Charlestown and East Boston will continue to receive free MBTA passes along with the shuttle bus service for the upcoming school year. BPS offers a limited number of shuttle buses for students in exam schools or high schools. Factors into whether or not a shuttle bus is provided include a school’s proximity to adequate MBTA service. BPS will continue to assess shuttle bus service on a case-by-case basis each year.”
As recently as last week, BPS had not yet committed to restoring the bus service to BLS and parents with students heading into the 7th or 8th grade at the exam school received letters at the beginning of the summer stating their child would not be eligible for transportation for the upcoming 2017/2018 school year.
This lit a fire under Eastie and Charlestown parents who began calling and writing letters to BPS complaining that the two communities are some of the most isolated neighborhoods in all of Boston.
Residents also complained to City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Rep. Adrian Madaro, as well as Sen. Joseph Boncore, who all worked closely with BPS staff and the Transportation Department to ensure students in their district would have adequate transportation for the upcoming school year.