Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District announces elimination of subscription busing

The Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District is encouraging those who use subscription busing to take public transit, carpooling or ridesharing services.

Lauren Due and Lanette Espy

Mar 14, 2024, 10:19 AM

Updated 37 days ago


Some students in the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in Monmouth County will no longer have the option to take the bus to school, as the paid subscription busing program will come to an end after this school year.
The school district says it is choosing to end the busing service due to impact and feasibility. The district says it was a difficult decision and that the district did its best to promote the program, but that the program is not sustainable for future school years.
Superintendent Nelyda Perez and business administrator Lindsey Case say there are several factors that led to the decision to cancel the subscription:
  • Road projects. Aberdeen Road closed a few days ago and will continue to be closed until further notice. Monmouth County will provide a free pedestrian shuttle service.
  • An increase in district enrollment. There have been around 400 new students over the last few years.
  • Cost considerations. The district says it's too much to keep up with maintenance, fuel, insurance and staffing.
  • Limited resources. The district wants to allocate money elsewhere.
There are 4,000 students in the district, and this change will impact about 90 students. Parents who rely on the subscription bus service say eliminating it isn't safe for them and that they say they hope the district reconsiders.
Cliffwood Beach parent Ericka Rodriguez says she’s a full-time mom with three children and that eliminating the service will be difficult for her family.
“This has just made it really, really difficult for us, and we are all very, very upset about this situation,” she said.
Rodriguez says her 11-year-old son who has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder will now be forced to cross the Route 35 intersection due to the busing service not being provided.
Scott Mazzella, a parent from Matawan, says safety is his biggest concern. He says his daughter will have to walk on Ravine Drive without a sidewalk and says that walk is about 36 minutes each way.
“Every child counts. Every single child counts. The safety of every child is important. If they are willing to look the other way when it comes to safety for some kids, that bothers me,” Mazzella said.
“We understand that their concerns might be safety or work schedules, things like that. So we are kind of hoping that we get the information out soon enough, early enough so we can get input from the community,” Perez said.
“You know, we could potentially carpool. We used the word rideshare. I understand there was some confusion with that. We don't intend on parents sending their kids on an Uber, but really to work together and help them find a way,” Perez added.
The school district is encouraging those who use subscription busing to take public transit, carpooling or ridesharing services.

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