PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Joint Unified District Board discussed the future of public transportation for the school district at its Feb. 11 meeting and considered ending the district’s school bus program entirely.

Joel Peterson suggested that the community work together to find a solution to the transportation challenge. Board member Christopher Arend repeatedly called for the abolishment of the bus program.

“Our responsibility is to get the special needs kids to school,” Arend said. “Those we are required by law to get here. Everyone else, it’s an additional service that the district provides.”

At Peterson’s suggestion, the board decided to table the issue and will make a decision at the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 25.

In December of 2019, the board increased prices from $95 to $190 for six months of morning and afternoon rides for a family’s first child. The prices drop incrementally for the second and third child, with the fourth child being able to ride for free. Prices also vary if the children are traveling only one way. The new one-way price for a single child doubled from $50 to $100 for half the year.

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Last December, the Board of Trustees directed staff to develop options for reduced home-to-school transportation service in the 2020-21 school year and sent out a letter warning parents of the cost increases.