Bus route cut means 1 hour walk for student

KATY, Texas - A Katy mother and her daughter walked for more than an hour Monday to get to school after a bus route was cut.

Gracie Coleman and her mom, Jennifer Skelton, grab flashlights, load up on water and head off into the darkness. It's 6:07 a.m. and Gracie has class in just over an hour. That's about how long it's going to take her to get there.

Coleman is just one of thousands of Katy ISD students affected by the school district cutting over 50 bus routes.

Last year, Coleman, who started 7th grade Monday got to ride the bus. This year, because she lives within the 1-mile radius of West Memorial Junior High, no bus service is offered, leaving her one option. Walk.

What the district didn't take into account was the path she and other kids in her neighborhood have to take because of a ditch that runs through her neighborhood, turning that 1-mile radius into a 2.5-mile turn-by-turn path. Some of it is along busy Kingland Avenue, a road with no sidewalks.

Skelton has tried talking to the district about the radius method not working.

Since going public with the bus route cuts, Katy ISD has re-instated five of the 52 original routes cut.

District officials will continue to listen to parent complaints but are still lacking the amount of bus drivers needed to operate like last year -- about 50 drivers less.

There will be a school board meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the routes. It is open to the public.

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