COMMENT: Why is the community only hearing about the change in the bus relocation plan to Niskayuna now? I find it hard to believe that all this happened overnight or even over a few months. This is something that is going to have a very big impact on not just SG but also Niskayuna. When did discussions with Niskayuna begin? Why wasn’t it presented to the community? Why did the BOE make the final decision and not the community, the families whose children ride the busses? Why wasn’t it put on the ballot this past election year? (or, if this has been going on for more than a year, past election years?) If I recall, there was something else on the ballot about busses, why wasn’t this on there? It concerns me that 7+ people made a decision like this that is going to impact thousands, yes thousands, not just the children but their families as well, without any input from the community.
RESPONSE: Thanks for your comment. Thie move of our transportation facilities to Niskayuna had been considered for a while – since SG, BHBL, Niskayuna and Mohonasen began sharing out-of-district bus routes three years ago.
We disagree with your characterization that this “is going to have a very big impact not just on S-G but also Niskayuna” and impact “thousands” of children and families. We expect this to be seamless for our parents – the bus will be there to pick up your child as it has in the past. We are really talking about where we park the buses overnight and service the buses.
That is not something that the community would need to vote on, certainly, because we do not expect it to impact our transportation services to the students and families of this community. This was an administrative decision. A great deal of thought and research was done before this move was approved by the Board of Education. The administration has agreed to carefully watch this during the fall and to make adjustments where necessary.
The primary motivation on our side of the deal was that our bus lifts have not worked in the bus garage for three years. So we have been bringing our buses to Niskayuna for the regular state transportation inspections. The district did not have the nearly $100,000 to replace a lift when there are many more pressing and costly issues facing our students, staff and classrooms.