South Bay School District Opens Bus Stops After Parents Protest

2 bus stops were added for San Ysidro High School students, 20 were originally cut

The Sweetwater Union High School District added two bus stops for San Ysidro High School students on Monday after outrage that the district originally cut 20 bus routes at the start of the school year.

A group of mothers known as the “Madres Unidas San Ysidro Chapter” were a huge reason for the bus routes being re-opened, according to a trustee for the Sweetwater Union High School District. The mothers had threatened to pull their students from school unless the bus service was restored. 

For months, the mothers and the district collaborated to get the bus stops open again. Two stops opened on Monday at Willow Elementary School and will take more than 100 students to San Ysidro High School at 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.

110 seats were raffled to students to secure a spot on the bus. Students have been on a waiting list since last summer. A spokesperson for the Sweetwater Union High School District said that the district will be announcing one to two more potential stops to help students in different areas of the community.

“I’m excited to finally be on the bus after all those times walking,” said Steven, a senior at San Ysidro High School.

Steven said he has been walking around 3 miles to San Ysidro High School since school started in July. He said the walk made him tired and sometimes he would see spiders or snakes. Now, his trek to school will only be about 10 minutes on the bus.

“These are very challenging decisions that as a district we have to make but one of the things we’re really excited about is being able to bring this back and continue to serve this community,” said Manny Rubio from the Sweetwater Union High School District.

The school district chose to eliminate bus routes for four schools in an effort to balance their budget. Routes were eliminated for Eastlake High School, Olympian High School, Otay Ranch High School and San Ysidro High School. Ten more routes were cut from other schools in the district.

The move outraged parents who said without the mode of transportation, many students would have to walk several miles to and from school.

District officials said the choice was made after the completion of a safe sidewalk on Old Otay Mesa Road, which serves as the main path to San Ysidro High.

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