News Release - Statement of Mayor Thomas S. Richards Regarding RCSD Student Transportation Issue and Downtown Incident

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013) – Yesterday, Chief James Sheppard and I met with Rochester City School District (RCSD) Superintendent Bolgen Vargas and Rochester Genesee Regional Transit Authority (RGRTA) Chief Executive Officer Bill Carpenter and members of their staffs regarding the disruption that has resulted from the congregation of hundreds of RCSD students in Downtown Rochester. I believe that I made it clear—and all agreed—that the current transportation arrangement is unacceptable and cannot continue. It is not safe for the children and disruptive for everyone else who is Downtown. We cannot expect disturbances such as the one we saw on Monday to be corrected as long as hundreds of unsupervised RCSD students continue to be brought Downtown at the same time as part of the District’s transportation program.

This has been a recurring problem for which a solution devised by the RCSD and RGRTA was supposed to be in place this school year. Unfortunately, as all agreed, that solution has not worked

In our meeting, there was agreement that:

1) The responsibility of transporting children safely to and from school lies with the RCSD;
2) RCSD will be activity engaged in monitoring the transportation of students, including having the appropriate personnel on site; and
3) A new plan must be devised and implemented promptly.

To that end, I await the results of today’s efforts by the RCSD and RGRTA to come up with a solution and will be actively monitoring its effectiveness.

The Rochester Police Department will continue to deploy significant resources to deal with problems that may arise, but ultimately this is an issue that the RCSD must address in a permanent manner. We will continue to work with them to make sure this occurs.


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