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Decision No. 13,107

Appeal of AMY JETT from action of the Board of Education of the Holley Central School District regarding transportation.

Decision No. 13,107

(February 22, 1994)

Heath & Martin, Esqs., Jeffrey R Martin, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals respondent's refusal to change the pickup point used to transport her son to school. The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner resides on Elizabeth Drive in the Holley Central School District. Elizabeth Drive is a dead-end street, 800 feet long. Six school-age children in the neighborhood are transported to school from a pickup point located at the intersection of Elizabeth Drive and Hall Road. Petitioner requested that respondent change the pickup point from the intersection of Elizabeth Drive and Hall Road and have the bus drive into Elizabeth Drive to pick up the children who are transported from Elizabeth Drive. Respondent refused petitioner's request, and petitioner commenced this appeal.

In designating pickup points, a board of education may exercise its discretion (Appeal of Guido, 33 Ed Dept Rep 244; Appeal of Klein, 27 id. 76; Appeal of Bohonyi, 26 id. 363), provided that the board uses care in exercising such discretion (Appeal of Klein, supra; Appeal of Bohonyi, supra; Appeal of Scheinberg, 21 Ed Dept Rep 32). In establishing a pickup point, a board of education must consider and balance considerations of public safety and convenience, routing efficiency and costs (Appeal of Donk, et al., 27 Ed Dept Rep 254; Appeal of Taylor, 26 id. 255).

Petitioner contends that the current pickup point is unsafe because it is located at the intersection of a highway where traffic travels at 55 m.p.h., is unlit and without sidewalks. While petitioner's concern for her son is understandable, she has provided no evidence to support her contention that the present pickup point is unsafe. Indeed, the factors she raises -- that the pickup point is located on a highway in an unlit area without sidewalks -- are identical to the characteristics of many pickup points in rural or suburban areas and are not, in and of themselves, a basis for deeming the current pickup point unsafe.

Petitioner also contends that the pickup point is improper because the children on Elizabeth Drive are required to walk up to 700 feet to reach it. However, Education Law '3635 does not require door-to-door transportation, and school districts have discretion to require students to walk to pickup points from which transportation will be provided (Appeal of Jansen, 29 Ed Dept Rep 402; Matter of Boyar, 21 id. 286; Matter of Schmitt, 21 id. 129).

Finally, the record before me indicates that respondent refused petitioner's request that the bus drive down Elizabeth Drive to pick up her son because granting such request would adversely affect costs and routing efficiency. In light of those considerations and the absence of any persuasive evidence that the present pickup point is unsafe, petitioner has failed to show that respondent acted arbitrarily or capriciously when it refused to change the pickup point for her son.

I have reviewed petitioner's other contentions and find them without merit.