Middle School student transit implementation plan
BPS has expanded MBTA pass program to offer free bus, subway and commuter rail passes to 8th grade students who qualify for transportation. This expands the program already in place for high school students and extends the previous Monday-Friday pass to a seven-day pass. This applies to transportation-eligible students in the Boston Public Schools, as well as charter, private and parochial school students in Boston. Students with disabilities who receive door-to-door yellow bus service as part of an IEP are not affected.
As we expand our successful T-Pass program beyond our high schools, our responsibility is to ensure safe and reliable transportation for all, however they get to and from school. BPS has established a multi-stakeholder working group to develop a Safe Transport Implementation Plan. School leaders, community members, safety experts, parents and students are joining together to learn from the best practices from the schools already using the MBTA -- and then leverage our community resources: such as the federal Safe Routes to Schools program, Operation Stopwatch, our own school safety personnel, Boston Police, the MBTA and others.
The multi-stakeholder working group is making sure that the Middle School student transit implementation plan covers all aspects of student safety and on-time performance across the City. Our objective is to ensure safe, on-time transportation for all students regardless of the mode of transportation.
In April and May, 2014, BPS participated in community meetings hosted by the Boston Student Advisory Council and Operation Stopwatch, and has gathered feedback at Parent University.
During the spring and summer of 2014 BPS conducted Pedestrian Safety Assessments at all middle and K-8 schools. Led by Safe Routes to Schools and Walk Boston, these walking assessments included the building principal and parents or community members and BPS support staff. The assessment walked the routes typically traveled by students at dismissal en route to the MBTA, identify areas in need of improvement or concern, and focused on where students tend to gather after school.
BPS also coordinates Stop Watch observations. Led by MBTA Transit Officers and Street Workers, these observations are at MBTA hubs at PM dismissal. Notes are being made with respect to traffic, safety concerns, operational issues, and school representation.
During the 2014-15 school year a Middle School Transportation Advisory Group will identify data to monitor middle school transportation program performance and will develop recommendations to use this data for improvement and the exploration of potential program expansion. The group will also identify safety standards to guide the current program as well as future policies and initiatives.