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Carpool idea strikes note with families

An attempt to set up a carpooling scheme for schoolchildren has received a good response.

Janice Battersbee was inspired to look at carpooling after a string of bus cancellations caused by Bermuda's ageing public transport fleet.

Ms Battersbee said: “It's really heart-warming to see that people are cheering on something that is community based.”

Ms Battersbee added she had received several e-mails of support after the carpool plan was highlighted in The Royal Gazette two weeks ago.

She said: “Those that have corresponded have been extremely positive and encouraging.”

Ms Battersbee said the majority of writers had shown an interest in becoming involved.

A government spokesman confirmed in December that school bus runs would not be restored after a stopgap measure to supplement the service with minibuses ended.

Ms Battersbee then posted messages on Facebook to appeal for members of the public concerned about the bus situation, and its potential impact on schoolchildren, to come together.

She said: “This is where the community can say this is where we can come together as a community and do something that's not about the money, it's about our children's education'.”

Ms Battersbee added that Aideen Ratteray Pryse, the Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Regulatory Affairs, had also sent an e-mail.

A spokeswoman for Ms Ratteray Pryse explained that the acting permanent secretary had contacted Ms Battersbee to provide a link to apps that could help anyone interested in setting up a carpool scheme.

Ms Battersbee said: “I really appreciated that and I'm going to follow up on the e-mail with her.”

She added that she was exploring how apps could be used as part of her drive “to get the community in touch with one another”.

Ms Battersbee said: “I think that the interesting part is that you might find people who might never meet in any other circle or be able to meet.”

She added that she had also met Debi Ray-Rivers, executive director at the anti-child abuse charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, last week.

The meeting was organised after concerns about pupil safety were raised on her Facebook posts.

Ms Battersbee said the meeting was informative.

She said her next step was to find out if the bus cancellations were having an impact on school attendance.

The Ministry of Education was asked last week for the latest attendance figures for CedarBridge Academy and the Berkeley Institute, but a response had not been received by press time yesterday.

For more information e-mail communitytransportationproject@gmail.com

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Published February 03, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 03, 2018 at 1:12 pm)

Carpool idea strikes note with families

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