Waco ISD offers free rides to students , Los Angeles County want - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Waco ISD offers free rides to students, Los Angeles County wants to do the same

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WACO -

It's the only program in Central Texas offering free rides for Waco ISD middle and high school students as long as they show a school ID. 

The program is in its fourth week, and other areas around the country, such as Los Angeles County are interested in how Waco is running it.

This is a trial run for Waco ISD. The program is to help boost school attendance and already a few hundred students in the district are taking advantage of it. The city transit system started to offer free rides until June 6th. Supervisor of Attendance, Truancy and Dropout Recovery Prevention, David Ellis oversees the program and helped start it.

"It had actually been talked about before," said Ellis. "I think I'm the one who wouldn't let it go without some kind of resolution."

The program is already seeing a positive outcome with 382 students taking advantage of the trial. This is up from 83 students the first week it started. 

Word of the program got out, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reached out to Ellis because they want to start a similar program for their schools.

"She calls me and says, 'I got to know more about it. Can you call me?'", said Ellis.

They want to gather data from Waco ISD to see if the program works.

"She said if I send her some data and numbers, giving the OK from Waco ISD, she'd be glad to take them and study them for her own project that she's got going out there."

The Los Angeles Department of Public Health is currently in the early stages gathering data to help schools launch a free rides program.

Senior University High School student Ashlee Juarez says the program has been a huge help to her and other students.

"I think it's very useful and it helps me a lot to get around the community," said Juarez. "Especially for school since I've used it for papers and projects for school."

Depending how this trial run goes, Waco ISD would like to have this program for the 2013-2014 school year. Juarez hopes the program stays in place for students next year.

"I think they should continue doing it," Juarez said. "I know a lot of kids struggle getting around and parents work."

 

 

 

 

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