Pay-to-ride leads to traffic headaches at Keller ISD

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 10:39 PM

KELLER - Parents already know they will run into a traffic headache when they pick up or drop off their kids every afternoon at Timberview Middle School in Keller.

"It has been a nightmare," said parent Shea Evans.

The backup has been so bad that some parents gave up driving into campus after their daily wait in line reached the 20 minute mark.

"We literally park on the other side and he walks to us," said parent William Dorsett. "It can be 20 to 30 minutes easily."

The congestion comes after the district eliminated its free bus service to save money. It then implemented a pay-per-ride program. The cost is $370 for the first child each year. The fee drops for an additional child from the same family.  

Only 3,000 kids have registered for the program this year, compared to more than 7,000 students who took the bus last school year.

Shea Evans, a parent, has noticed the difference.

"The waiting time to pick up the kids, waiting time to get into the school and get out, the amount of traffic and the amount of kids crossing in dangerous areas [have all increased,]" said Evans.

The district would not go on camera, but a spokeswoman told News 8 school officials are still making changes.

"All recommended traffic patterns are approved by Central Administration and both police departments," said Keller ISD Communications Director Shellie Johnson.

The district plans to take a look at the problem again after Labor Day, but some parents aren't waiting. They refuse to drive one more day into the traffic mess.

"They design the pattern and you design your life around the pattern," said Dorsett. "It's what it boils down to."

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