More Mpls. High School Students Transition to Metro Transit

Updated: 08/27/2013 7:31 AM By: Naomi Pescovitz

Forget the big yellow school bus. Starting this year, even more Minneapolis Public High School students will be riding to school on Metro Transit buses.

The district is expanding its "Go-To Student Pass" Program to South and Southwest High Schools, meaning all Minneapolis Public High Schools will be using public transportation. The change means more than 2,000 new students will be using the program for the first time.

MPS says they will cut nearly 30 bus routes this year. Metro Transit is adding close to 50 trips a day to accommodate.

"Our planners, months in advance, worked with the district to get all of the addresses of those students, and then built trip plans to sort of what is the trip that they are going to be taking," said Metro Transit Spokesman John Siqveland.

Some parents have expressed safety concerns over the program. One former Patrick Henry High School student transferred to Hopkins High School earlier this year after he said he was attacked on his way home after taking a Metro Transit bus.

"I don't want him to ride the city bus, good people and bad people are riding the bus, we don't know what's going to come across," the student's mother said.

The passes allow high school riders access to buses and trains from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

District officials say they did not make the transition to save money and that the program will be nearly a "wash" this year financially.