DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The leader of the Greater Dayton RTA is responding to claims from the Dayton Public Schools board of education that the agency is attempting to block students from buses.
During a press conference Monday, DPS leaders voiced their concerns about transportation issues impacting their students, claiming the RTA is violating their students’ civil rights.
2 NEWS spoke with RTA’s CEO Robert Ruzinsky the next day. Ruzinsky said public transportation is not the right method to safely bus students.
“The issues we currently have, though, are the Dayton board pushing all their high school students and the charter school students on our services, which it’s their responsibility to provide transportation,” Ruzinsky said. “That’s a state mandate and our services aren’t set up to serve that population.”
DPS currently purchases around 3,000 bus passes per month for their high school students, who otherwise would have to have their own transportation to get to and from school.
District leaders said they were purchasing the passes at an inflated rate, and that Ruzinsky had made comments that the agency considered ending the sales of bus passes to anyone so students cannot ride.
“Equity is important in a community, and if we aren’t willing to be equitable with the services we offer, there is no conversation available,” DPS Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli said.
Ruzinsky said that was not true, and the agency is not trying to limit anyone from their buses.
“We’re never going to trample on anybody’s civil rights if somebody has the fare, they can ride our bus. It doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from,” Ruzinsky said.
DPS leaders said Monday that the district is looking for solutions to bus their high school students, but they currently do not have enough buses or drivers to do so.