Plea for Kaiti’s free bus to be continued

About 250 students use Kaiti bus service.

About 250 students use Kaiti bus service.

AN appeal for the return of a free bus to bring school pupils from Kaiti to high schools on the other side of the city has been supported by the Regional Transport Committee.

The committee was responding to a request from the Gisborne Social Sector Trial, which organised the bus service.

It was told by trial manager Leslynne Jackson that Gisborne secondary schools agreed that the cost of school buses was a barrier to Kaiti students attending school.

About 250 students use the Kaiti bus service each day. and approximately 80 percent of the students using it are Maori.

Although unjustified absence and frequent truancy rates in Gisborne had been trending down, Gisborne’s rates were almost twice the national average in each period, she said.

Asked if there was any other source of funding, she said they had knocked on every possible door.

The trust asked the committee to fully fund the Kaiti bus service, fund the school-based initiative to provide bus tickets for students achieving good attendance through the trial, and recognise the Kaiti bus service as a social service and take steps to re-tender the service as a social service.

Strategic planning manager David Wilson told the committee the trial started at the beginning of term three in 2014 and ended when all the bus concession tickets were distributed to students in December 2015.

Social issue related to truancy

As this matter was a social issue relating specifically to truancy, council officers believed the assessment and any subsequent decision should be made by the council.

Larry Foster said this was a no-brainer.

“We have to get the children to school.”

The situation in which a bus from Wainui passed through Kaiti but could not pick up students was “bizarre.”

Chairman Roger Haisman said the council was already subsidising 75 percent of the city bus services. The committee did not have delegated authority to make this decision.

The committee adopted a recommendation from Mr Wilson that the chief executive be asked to analyse the options and provide a recommendation to the council regarding ongoing funding of the Kaiti school bus service and free ticketing system.

AN appeal for the return of a free bus to bring school pupils from Kaiti to high schools on the other side of the city has been supported by the Regional Transport Committee.

The committee was responding to a request from the Gisborne Social Sector Trial, which organised the bus service.

It was told by trial manager Leslynne Jackson that Gisborne secondary schools agreed that the cost of school buses was a barrier to Kaiti students attending school.

About 250 students use the Kaiti bus service each day. and approximately 80 percent of the students using it are Maori.

Although unjustified absence and frequent truancy rates in Gisborne had been trending down, Gisborne’s rates were almost twice the national average in each period, she said.

Asked if there was any other source of funding, she said they had knocked on every possible door.

The trust asked the committee to fully fund the Kaiti bus service, fund the school-based initiative to provide bus tickets for students achieving good attendance through the trial, and recognise the Kaiti bus service as a social service and take steps to re-tender the service as a social service.

Strategic planning manager David Wilson told the committee the trial started at the beginning of term three in 2014 and ended when all the bus concession tickets were distributed to students in December 2015.

Social issue related to truancy

As this matter was a social issue relating specifically to truancy, council officers believed the assessment and any subsequent decision should be made by the council.

Larry Foster said this was a no-brainer.

“We have to get the children to school.”

The situation in which a bus from Wainui passed through Kaiti but could not pick up students was “bizarre.”

Chairman Roger Haisman said the council was already subsidising 75 percent of the city bus services. The committee did not have delegated authority to make this decision.

The committee adopted a recommendation from Mr Wilson that the chief executive be asked to analyse the options and provide a recommendation to the council regarding ongoing funding of the Kaiti school bus service and free ticketing system.

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