School district addresses busing issues

ROCHESTER — Rochester city school students will be restricted in their travels on city buses as a way to curb recent incidents downtown on East Main Street.

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas announced the changes during an Oct. 1 press conference alongside Mayor Tom Richards, Board of Education President Malik Evans and officials from the Regional Transit Service. The changes, which affect students in grades 7 to 12 who take RTS buses to school, were to take effect Oct. 4, according to information from the district.

More students who ride RTS buses will be required to take express routes that will take them directly from city neighborhoods to district schools. Those students who must transfer buses downtown will receive a timed "connection pass" that requires them to catch their next bus in minutes.

Prior to this, students could make transfers on later buses and use express passes to travel downtown. As a result, some of the students were engaging in fights as they lingered along Main Street and the Liberty Pole.

Evans said that the issue is a family one, not a transportation one. And in a letter sent to families, Vargas said that the poor behavior exhibited by a few students forced the district to penalize a larger number of them.

For more information about the changes, visit

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