Should Renton School District provide bus passes for its high school students?


Avery Petek, Staff Writer

Early in 2018, the Seattle mayor approved a bill giving thousands of high school students in the city free, year-round bus passes.

Seattle is a big city where public transport is a major part of how people get around, so passing this bill makes sense.

Though the city of Renton is smaller and it may be easier to get around using a car, transportation by bus is an important way for students to get around, considering most high-schoolers don’t have a car even if they do have a license.

The price for teens for one bus ticket is $1.50, which is reasonably cheap, but when kids are taking the bus up to five times a week, potentially to and from school, the amount adds up. Leaving kids either spending money they don’t have or deciding not to take the bus at all. Which has kids not showing up to school or deciding not to stay after school to participate in a school activities.

Most high schools, including Renton, has many after-school activities that not only give students the opportunity to get community service but also to make new friends and experience new things.

But, when kids can’t take the bus because they don’t have a ride or don’t have money for the bus, they just decide to not stay after school. Which means they are not participating in sports, or clubs, or opportunities for volunteer hours, as well as not being able to stay after school to redo test or finish projects.

This doesn’t only affect how the students view school, but also how colleges look at the kids when deciding whether to accept them or not. If two students apply to a college with the exact same grades and test scores, but one participates in many extracurricular activities and the other participates in none, the person with the extracurricular activities will more likely be accepted to the school.

Colleges want a well-rounded student that has good test scores and grades, as well as being an active participant in the high school community.

The fact that some students simply cannot stay after school to do these things because they don’t have the money for it is sad and should not be happening.

The school district providing bus passes for Renton’s high schools would promote active students. A survey given to the students of Renton District high schools said that 100% of kids would take the bus more often if there was free bus passes.

In that same survey, it says that 81.82% of students have wanted to stay after school but haven’t because they haven’t had a ride back home or money for the bus. Students want to stay after school and participate in after-school activities, but some just can’t without the help of the district.

So if someone asks “Should Renton school district provide bus passes for it’s high school students?” the answer is yes, though it might be pricey for the district. Students deserve a healthy relationship with their school’s community and an opportunity to participate in sports and clubs, to make friends and get into the college, or trade school, of their dreams.