Posts Tagged ‘disability bus NYC’

To Bus or Not to Bus…. please help answer the question!

April 13, 2011 8 comments

The wheels on the bus go round and round and round and round…. or sometimes not at all if you are taking a bus in NYC. Often times the right school for your child is not walking distance, and in some cases an hour commute twice a day isn’t going to work out for one reason or another. When you are in the city, and when your child has special needs, they probably aren’t going to walk or bike or subway back and forth on their own.

I have been very fortunate so far and have not had to put James on a bus. When I lived in Ohio I drove him back and forth each way on my way to school, and in VA when I worked much longer hours I had a lot of help from Ryan getting James to and from school. In NYC we have been fortunate enough to live 7 blocks or less from James’s school, so it has been an easy decision to spend a little extra time walking with James and getting some exercise, too. Except on the days when I have 1, 2 or 3 whiny kids and a stroller full of groceries. And it’s raining.

We are currently considering moving north by 30+ more blocks. Not walking distance anymore. Totally doable by subway, but much less convenient for Ryan and I. Ryan would have a much longer commute so stopping to drop off James would add even more time to it. I don’t anticipate dragging two toddlers downtown on the subway once or twice a day to get James would be pleasant either, though I haven’t ruled it out. That leaves me to struggle with the bus issue.

I admit it. I have a “bus issue.” Not without reason, though I may sound like a hypochondriac to some people, including my own family. The pros to having James take the bus are obvious: less effort and time on our part in getting James where he needs to go. The cons I am sure of: a much longer trip to and from school for James, resulting in a longer day away from home. Then there are the potential cons: falling up or down bus steps and injuring himself or others, getting bullied on the bus, not getting off at the right stop one way or the other, having an accident on the bus because the trip is too long and nobody made him go to the bathroom before leaving school, less face to face time with teachers because we don’t do drop off or pick up anymore, a more tired child arriving at home to start homework, resulting in more tantrums and more stress at home.

The potential cons, as with many issues, are what really scare me. Many of the potential cons need only to happen once in order for something really bad to have happened, and with a special needs child the likelihood of them happening more than once is much greater. Also, other people’s stories. I have heard so many stories, mostly of the horror variety, about special needs children and buses I cannot even count them. As my husband likes to point out, most people don’t walk around talking about the nice bus ride their child took to school that day, so I am asking you to. Please share with me your stories and opinions, good or bad, regarding NYC school buses. I am especially interested in hearing from people who have had direct experience in putting their special needs child on a bus for special needs students in Manhattan, but welcome any related stories and comments.

I would love to be able to make a rational, educated decision about the bus. So please, share your bus stories in the comments section. Every bit of information is helpful, and I plan to post my findings as I look further into the “bus issue.”

To bus or not to bus?

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