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RHS Student Senate address city council on school transportation needs

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By Barbara Taormina


Revere High Student Senate Chairman Mathew Terrell met with the City Council this week to talk about student needs.

Terrell came prepared with maps, statistics, facts and figures and gave a polished, professional and engaging presentation on student transportation.

Terrell explained that students who live just under the two-mile distance required to be eligible for bus service find it unfair. Using his own experience as an example, Terrell said he lives 1.95 miles from school and like others, was expected to walk. But Terrell said his route to school was along busy roads with speeding cars and obstructed sidewalks.

Terrell said a solution proposed by the senate is to provide M7 cards to all RHS students which would give them free, unlimited rides on the T, busses and commuter rail throughout the school year. During the summer, the passes would revert back to S cards which provides a 50 percent discount on fares.

According to Terrell, the program would cost $30 per student per month or $270 per student per year, or a total of $566,460. Over a 10-year period, the program would be around $9.3 million.

The student senate made the pitch on an M7 card program to the school committee but they were told there’s no money in the school department budget to fund it. The committee advised the students to make the case to the City Council.

Councillors had several questions about the cards, particularly the costs, and asked if it was possible to limit the cards to rides to and from school.

Terrell said 10 rides on the T or a bus come close to $30 and the unlimited card doesn’t cost much more. And he stressed the M7 cards could get students to internships and other school related activities in Boston and to jobs.

Terrell said the M7 card program would get more students using public transportation and cut commuter times and traffic congestion in the city by eliminating the need for parents to drop students off or for students to drive to school.

The students are also calling for a crossing guard or police detail at Harris Street and American Legion Highway to ensure public safety.

Looking forward, they are requesting a pedestrian bridge or tunnel at Wonderland when the new high school opens to ensure students get across the busy road safely.

Students intend to continue to collaborate with state and local officials and agencies on complete street projects and other plans to make transportation safer and more efficient for pedestrians and. cyclists.

Councillors praised Terrell for the presentation, and several voiced support for the M7 card program. Councillors Silvestri, Haas and Cogliandro offered to help if needed.

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