Superior secondary students may ride DTA bus to school for free

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Every middle and high school student in Superior will likely be able to ride the DTA bus to and from school for free this year.

With approval of the city council next Tuesday, the city will be paying for the fare, and all students have to do is show their student ID.

"We need to find ways to get kids to school, and not let transportation be a driver on if they do come to school or not," said Superior School District Transportation Director David See.

Currently, the district doesn’t receive state funding to bus students who live less than two miles from school. That’s why See put forth the initiative for the DTA to bus the students at the DTA Better Bus Plan meeting.

"My hope is to eventually make it so kids don’t have to walk more than a mile to get to some place to get to school," said See.

A combined 621 middle and high school students would be able to take the DTA instead of walking or having their parents drive them.

"To me, it made sense immediately," said Mayor Jim Paine, who is also on board.

"The fact is, you only have access to transportation to school if you live two miles or more, and that puts a pretty heavy burden on kids and their parents to get to school if you live less than that, and two miles may not sound like very much, but that’s a really long way in some of the Superior, Wisconsin winters," said Paine.

The hope is using the DTA will be beneficial in both the present and the future.

"It’s a tool that kids will be able to use their whole lives, and they might just find that they can put off driving a few extra years if they have to or even if they want to," said Paine.

"It was kind of a win, and hopefully in the future can generate some revenue for the DTA and the City of Superior by teaching kids to ride the bus now, and they’ll do that when they’re adults," said See.

The kids can also use the DTA bus to get home from sports practice, extracurricular activities, or to ride to a job that may be outside of walking distance.