Los Altos City Council voted to send a letter urging the Cupertino Union School District to consider lowering its school bus fee for Montclaire Elementary School students.
Los Altos Mayor Val Carpenter said that a price increase this year has likely led to decreased ridership on the bus—and increased traffic going to Montclaire School on St. Joseph Avenue.
“The number one concern of Los Altos residents is the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists on our residential streets, particularly children traveling to and from school,” Carpenter wrote in her draft letter.
She cited a letter sent by resident LaNae Avra, a former Traffic Commission member. Avra, in charge of Safe Routes to School for Montclaire, wrote to CUSD Sept. 4 expressing concern that the higher price of bus passes this year is resulting in more parents driving their students to school—making conditions more dangerous for students who walk and bike to school.
The district instituted bus service more than a decade ago when it closed Grant School on Holt Avenue and moved its students to Montclaire School, on the other side of Foothill Expressway.
School bus passes for the year are $436 and if parents have two children going to school, that’s a $872 investment, wrote Avra estimating estimates it only takes about $144 to drive to school each way.
Carpenter‘s draft letter suggests that the district consider lowering the passes and consider working with Montclaire parents to increase ridership and awareness.
Los Altos has made “significant investment” in safety improvements near Montclaire, and pays for crossing guards at the intersections of Morton Avenue-Grant Road and Foothill Expressway and Grant Road, she noted in the draft.