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Out-Of-Service Bus Routes Build Concern As Stockton Students Prep For Return To Campus

STOCKTON (CBS13) – The return back to in-person learning is less than two weeks away for the Stockton Unified School District, and some of the public transit lines that exist to take students to school remain out of service because of pandemic cutbacks.

Saphonia Collins' daughter Myles attends Cesar Chavez High School in Stockton and is heading into her junior year. Collins was surprised to learn the bus route that her daughter should use to get to class is not running.

"I've been really stressed out," Collins said. "I just found out. I called to get the bus routes and school is about to start on August 2, and I was told there was no 360 bus at all."

Stockton Unified pays for students' bus passes to get to school, but the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) has suspended service to four routes that serve students, including route 360. You can see the route numbers stripped from the bus stops.

RTD spokesperson Merab Talamantes released a statement reading:

"We're still waiting for information on what the demand is going to be, what percentage of the students are going back to school or going online."

Talamantes also said a union labor agreement process would be needed to get the bus routes back in service.

"So it looks like I'm going to have to sign my daughter up for distance learning," Collins said.

Collins is a single mother who works in San Francisco and has a monster commute. She can't drop her daughter off at school herself.

"I wake up at 3:20 in the morning, I hop on a bus at 4:20 in the morning, I get to the city at 7:20 in the morning, and I don't get back to Stockon until 7pm," Collins said.

With the start of post-pandemic, in-person learning in Stockton, this family feels forced into a return to distance learning—all because of a missing bus route.

"Not being at the school, I think, it's going to hurt her a lot," Collins said

Stockton Unified is meeting with RTD Wednesday to discuss this issue.

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