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Jordan Shuttle - What is happening?

Original post made by Ann on Nov 2, 2007

With all that just happened in our city, children are being left waiting for a LOOOOOONG time for the Jordan Shuttle. What is happening? At times children have to wait from 3:00 PM to after 4:00 PM for the 3:10 shuttle.

This is a safety issue... how unreliable can be such a service???

Can the school do something about it? I have called the transportation dept and I have left messages... what else can I do? I just don't want my child to be waiting alone in a stop...

Comments (23)

Posted by JLS Parent, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Nov 2, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Jordan has a shuttle!! How fortunate for you.


Posted by hate to wait, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 2, 2007 at 11:41 pm

Maybe they can get some homework done while they wait while kids across town are walking home.


Posted by Carol Mullen, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Wouldn't you rather have a shuttle that provided transit for more school kids than a new website? Automated calls from our police department? An oversized new building for a safety center? More polls?

Why shouldn't the City budget spend more on shuttles?

These are kids. They didn't pick out the wrong places to live in, they had no choice about the schools they're assigned to attend.

Very few people understood or prepared for the expansion of Palo Alto's population. Surely the kids are the least to blame for this mess?


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Carol

You forgot the $10,000 for the MLK plaza plaque.


Posted by Carol Mullen, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Yes, and besides, a bronze plaque is a lousy way to honor Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King, Jr. $10,000 spent on a photographic history of these outstanding people might have been used in the schools or the library. I noticed from the letters that there are still people in Palo Alto who know nothing about Coretta King, and not very much about her husband.


Posted by maude, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 3, 2007 at 7:31 pm

wont somebody please think of the children??????


Posted by life could be worse, a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2007 at 10:09 am

I think the children and parents should be grateful that there is a shuttle. I also think that learning to wait patiently for a free service and being grateful for that service is a virtue. Let the children learn.


Posted by PA mom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2007 at 10:48 am

This is not a Jordan shuttle, its the PA shuttle used by adults and kids alike. If you don't want your kids waiting - pick them up, tell them to walk, carpool with another family or have them ride their bike.


Posted by north side parent, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 4, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I've noticed that whenever there is a topic about either Jordan or Paly, people pipe up about how unfair the distribution of resources is between the north and south parts of Palo Alto, ostensibly favoring the north. I see it in this thread.

I have always felt like the south has the advantage. Everyone knows that Gunn has higher test scores, and is ranked higher on various surveys. It also has a beautiful and large auditorium. Paly has to make do with Haymarket, which is a tiny theater, and for any larger performances has to hold them at... Gunn.

Then there's the teen center for all of Palo Alto. Where is it? Michell park - right next store to JLS! Jordan and Terman kids really have no place to go after school, but the JLS kids have a great center to go to. If you've ever been there, there's hardly any kids there who aren't from JLS. Once upon a time, there was a teen center in downtown Palo Alto, but the city took that away and turned it into what is now Form Fitness. So now there's nothing for teens in this part of town.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Ann, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2007 at 1:23 am

It is a safety issue. There are children who does not live so close to the school and need to use the shuttle service. After last week kidnapping and the tentative kidnapping last month of a 12-year-old, schools sent notes/emails to parents asking not to let children stay alone after school hours. I find it an absurd that with all that has been happening children are being left at a bus stop for long period of time waiting for the PA Shuttle.


Posted by hate to wait, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 5, 2007 at 11:16 am

North side parent--Two comments from south PA parents commenting that waiting for a free shuttle versus not having a shuttle is not harping; it is fact. I think that the point of having several children waiting for a shuttle does not constitute a safety issue, it is an inconvenience that is really not that horrible.

A teen center in downtown PA would service which school? Middle school kids can easily ride their bikes from all three middle schools to Mitchell Park. Kids go if they are interested and surely the kids closest to any facility will use it more.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by north side parent, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2007 at 1:22 pm

I guess I consider it harping when I see the same complaints of unfairness over and over. I have never before posted my concerns, and I have never even seen anyone else do so, while I have heard complaints about the north having an unfair advantage for many years now. Maybe I should have opened a new thread, my comments were off-topic for this one, but so were the north-south complaints that prompted my little rant.

As for the shuttle, maybe some people call it a Jordan shuttle, but it's not. Yes, some Jordan students are lucky enough to live in an area served by it (it doesn't do my kids any good at all because it doesn't come anywhere near us) and I actually think the shuttle should be expanded to serve all the middle and high schools if we're serious about saving energy. Of course, I grew up back East where school buses are a fact of life.


Posted by dude, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 7, 2007 at 1:28 pm

In resonse to:

"It is a safety issue. There are children who does not live so close to the school and need to use the shuttle service. After last week kidnapping and the tentative kidnapping last month of a 12-year-old, schools sent notes/emails to parents asking not to let children stay alone after school hours. I find it an absurd that with all that has been happening children are being left at a bus stop for long period of time waiting for the PA Shuttle.
Posted by Ann, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Nov 5, 2007 at 1:23 am "

Ok, for those of you that do not know, most Jordan students that ride this shuttle are headed to the downtown area, or over by rinconda. From Jordan it (the shuttle) goes maybe 1.5 miles at the most, if your worried about your kids walking, have them learn to bike. They can bike with kids that live near by, and all they have to do is go to middlefield and bike on the sidewalk to school. That is what I did after I got fed up with the shuttle, It took me maybe 10 minutes to bike home (about 1.5 miles). Also If they bike on Middlefield (sidewalk) no one will kidnapp them, there are many people outside walking, and in my experiences they are very helpful.


Posted by Ann, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2007 at 8:35 pm

Dude, thanks for the ideas. But not every child can bike. My child cannot do it for health reasons. At times I have left my work to go to the bus stop. But sometimes it becomes a real problem. And I believe other parents are having to do the same.


Posted by Jordan staff member, a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2007 at 9:09 pm

The shuttle stops at Jordan at 3:05, 3:10, and 3:42. Any student leaving school by 3:05 should not be waiting for an hour for the shuttle.


Posted by dude, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 9, 2007 at 6:07 pm

well yeah that is true, except Wednesday then they have to wait an hour. Ann, I get your point that some children are incapable of biking to school. My main point was that many students and parents are whining about the shuttle, but not seeking to change their own ways to fix the problem. That really is all I was getting at.

Not to pry, but the only thing I can think of that would stop children from going to school via bike, would also most likely be things that their parent would drive them for.


Posted by Carrie, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 15, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Ann, I am with you 100% on this issue! Thanks for bringing it up.
My youngest kid had such a problem for 2 years (until he started @ Jordan this year, which is much closer to our home). He had to take the shuttle from near Addison after school, down to Jordan to meet his sibling. (Then a walk home together.) There were so many, many, many times that the shuttle never came. That meant 2 kids were waiting, somtimes in the pouring rain, for that darn shuttle. And no, biking wasn't an option for my child - and no, I couldn't drive him. If the shuttle was reliable, things would have been fine.

Ann, you have a perfectly valid complaint. And I don't know if you have tried to contact the shuttle service, as I did on numerous occasions, or not. If you haven't tried, don't waste your time doing so. They will never return your calls or e-mails! Personally, I think their service is shameful. And it is paid for by us! I finally gave up - just too overwhemed by other things in my life..... but if you are a Mother depending on something like that shuttle for the safety of your children, then you know how incredibly important it is. And how ridiculous it is that the service is allowed to be so horrible.

And finally, to all of you making unsympathetic comments: please remember that we are talking about children here. It is not too much to ask for the city to make sure that the shuttle runs on time, especially around school beginning & ending times. Biking is not an option for everyone, & for some the distance is just too far to walk. Any other comments comparing North/South and/or East/West are just not relevent here. Ann brought up something about the shuttle - let us keep to her point.
Best of luck to you, Ann!


Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2007 at 8:36 am

Carrie

You say that the shuttle is something we pay for. Indirectly, you are right. However it started with a fanfare as a shopping aid for downtown and "they" were suprised to find school kids using it. This did not alter the schedules or routes. It is still classed as a shopping aid for downtown, not a school bus service. It is also called a free shuttle, which it is to its users although of course the cost comes out of the taxes everyone pays.

Alternatively, we should be lobbying for an overall transport program for PA. At present, if you are lucky enough to live where the shopping shuttle passes and it helps you to get to and from school, you have a bonus that most other PA does not have. You do not pay extra for it, we all pay for it in our taxes. We should all have a transportation service, and although it should be subsidized, in my opinion, it should not be free. Those who use it should have to pay something, particularly those who use it as their regular commute to and from work/school. It is unfair if they get a reliable service for no extra cost that others do not get.

So, let us improve the shuttle service all over Palo Alto and lets make it reliable and charge a small cost to its users. This way, all of our children can use it and the likelihood is that it would be more reliable and better maintained.

Jordan has one, Gunn has one, apparently Addison can use it, why not the rest of us? (See, not north v south, just areas that do and don't).


Posted by another parent, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 16, 2007 at 10:03 am

Ann and Carrie, I agree with you.

I had perused this thread when it first started and just looked at it again now. I was pretty surprised at the tone with regard to getting children to and from school. On the one hand, some complain that parents should be able to orchestrate getting their children everywhere (and it is orchestration with everyone else's busy schedules, i.e. potential carpools, after-school activities, homework projects, playdates, illnesses, and any other things that pop up in daily life,... ).

... and then on the other extreme, some say that children should be resourceful enough to figure out how to get across town using their own two feet. I had loads of responsibility from the age of 5 and consider myself pretty street smart, but these expectations are a bit much for Palo Alto which is supposedly so kid-friendly.

I know my kids love to act grown up and independent, but I doubt they are so street-savvy to get around safely when left waiting for so long and the security (of crowds of kids) is gone. This is doubly true now with it getting dark so early. Just the other day, I barely was able to make out a 'tween on his bike with no lights at 5:30pm. Rush hour, busy road, I hope he made it home ok.

I think an afterschool shuttle for each school would be a great idea and something parents would be willing to pay for.... maybe a shuttle that was not the primary afterschool transport, but a slightly delayed departure like a late bus I had as a kid (back east).
It had main stops for all the neighborhoods for our large, regional high-school. It took me a long time to get home because I was the last stop, but I got home safely and was even able to start dinner for when the rest of the family got home.

A shuttle like this would conceivably add one vehicle to the road for every 10 car-pools it eliminates. Imagine that.


Posted by Carrie, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2007 at 10:48 am

Thanks, "another parent", for your contributions to this thread.
Positive, coherent contributions! Ann, are you still reading? What are your thoughts?

As I mentioned, although my kids do not need the Crosstown Shuttle, I still support the concept of appropriate transportation for ALL of our children. And given that we obviously do have this shuttle system in place, tweaking it a bit should not be that difficult...... no need to reinvent the wheel here. And yes, my high school kid could certainly use help getting to Paly. There is absolutely no accessible bus route anywhere near our house. (His bike was stollen - yes, it was locked - from Paly the first month. I can't afford another one anytime soon.) Anyone who has to deal with the Paly traffic mess every morning would certainly appreciate somekind of a Paly Shuttle.

Since we have a new School Board now, perhaps they will work with those of us who have valid transportation issues.

And I'm still waiting for those in charge to answer our question: Just WHERE are the shuttles when they never show up? And WHY do you not respond to e-mail & telephone messages?


Posted by Ann, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 19, 2007 at 1:19 am

Carrie, yes, I am still here. And, yes, I have tried to contact the shuttle service. But, no, they have not respond to my messages. And I definitely support the concept of appropriate transportation for all of our children in our city.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 19, 2007 at 10:11 am

Carrie, is your student new (a freshman)? There IS the Embarcadero shuttle which takes students to/from Paly. Problem is, I'm sorry to tell you, it's very overcrowded (I have been observing it for four years). Thankfully, last week I saw a Paly official monitoring the line of students getting on after school (to keep order) as this was an issue (students rushing across the parking lot/pushing to get on -as the bus stop is out on Embarcadero). More to the point, the traffic using Embarcadero to go to/from Stanford from 101 is horrendous on that route and it affects getting in and getting out of Paly to a major degree. Even a shuttle gets stuck in traffic.


Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 19, 2007 at 10:18 am

I am really glad to see a Paly administrator looking at this. Too often, in my opinion, school officials pay little or no attention to transport issues when the students are off campus. I once rang the office of a local high school to ask what vta routes were served by the school, and incredibly, no one in the office could tell me.

Gasp!!!


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