Duluth Public Schools partnership give students free DTA bus rides
Duluth Public Schools’ students have the day off tomorrow for Martin Luther King Jr. day. Also the DTA and Duluth Public Schools announced a new partnership starting on Tuesday, January 16th.
Rod Fournier, the DTA general manager said this is a pilot program with the Duluth Public Schools partnership. Although it is based on their other partnerships established with the local colleges and universities in the area.
“We’ve been working on this for close to two years. It really is geared towards giving the students all the access they need,” Fournier said. “I think that’s going to be a great opportunity for not only high school students, but ISD staff as well.”
All high school students and staff will be able to ride DTA buses for free by showing their school ID.
“The importance is giving all the students another alternative to get to school,” Fournier said. “Along with giving students access to sporting events and all the other activities that might not fit within the general transportation of the of the district.”
Not only will students be able to have free rides for after school activities, but also arriving to school early. Adelle Wellens, the Communication Officer with Duluth Public Schools said this is pilot program can help high school students who live closer to the school and not have to walk in below freezing temperatures.
“One of our strategic directions that came out of our strategic planning process last year is advancing equity. So we improved that by shrinking our two mile radius for high school students down to one. So if they live within if they live a mile or further away, they can get transportation through our bussing,” Wellens said. “Then having that DTA program and allowing students that live in that one mile radius don’t want to walk that mile to school and it’s negative two degrees out.”
There’s also no restrictions on when students and staff can ride the DTA busses. The hope for the program is to help students have an easier time traveling. Whether its attending after-school programs and events or get to and from work if they have a job.
“If it goes well, that we would be able to expand it not only to our high school students, but also our middle school students next year. So more and more of our students can participate in those after school activities or before school activities.”