The transportation staff of Portland Public Schools has recommended a three-tier solution for Grant High School students traveling to the Marshall High campus in the fall, when modernization work starts at Grant.
Grant staff, parents and students are examining the proposals, which include yellow bus transportation for students who live at the northwest edge of the school’s attendance area. Shuttle buses would transport a second group of students to a MAX station. Those living closest to a MAX or other TriMet stop would receive a free pass to ride public transportation.
The final approval for services will be addressed during the district’s budget process in coming months, according to a transportation staff report.
While Grant, at 2245 N.E. 36th Ave., undergoes upgrading between fall 2017 and summer 2019, students will attend classes at the Marshall campus, 3905 S.E. 91st Ave. Initially, planners expected students to select their own transportation to Marshall.
However, some staff and parents saw that students in the King, Boise Eliot/Humboldt, and Sabin school boundaries would spend about an hour on a bus to get to school each morning, plus additional time from home to the bus stop. A parent’s group said that could lead some students to skip school or be marked tardy if they happen to miss a bus.
The transportation staff recommended those students have yellow bus service to Marshall. The cost estimate is $275,000, but $192,500 could be reimbursed by the state.
Students in the Irvington and Alameda School boundaries, without direct routes to MAX, would have a 45- to 50-minute transportation time. The staff recommended these students have yellow bus service to a MAX station for decreased travel time.
Students in the Beverly Cleary and Laurelhurst school boundaries would receive a TriMet pass to travel to Marshall.
Service equity is a concern in the transportation issue, the report said. “As families most impacted by the relocation of Grant are those in areas with higher rates of historically underserved and free and reduced (meal) populations, these areas should be more closely looked at for possibly higher levels of service,” the staff wrote.