Conkey Cruisers helping to address RCSD’s bussing crisis

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In response to the Rochester City School District bussing crisis, members of the community are coming together to help the students impacted.

“We just need to make sure the tire pressure is ok and make sure the kids have helmets and safety gear,” said William Burgess, Monroe County Legislator-elect representing the 29th District.

Burgess is helping Conkey Cruisers, a grassroots neighborhood bicycle program, go through their checklist as the first day of school for RSCD students is around the corner.

Recognizing the major transportation issue for some RCSD students, Conkey Cruisers is working with partners like Exercise Express, the Rochester Cycling Alliance and Rochester Community Bikes to get students literally geared up for school. They are also asking the community to come to together for a solution and are seeking bike donations, new or old.

“We have an array of bicycles to ensure that each student will get a brand new bike, a brand new helmet and a brand new lock,” said Theresa Bowick, executive director for Conkey Cruisers.

The day before school starts, students from schools number 10, 17 and 22 will receive a brand new bike to get them to and from school.

“We are encouraging parents and caregivers to actually ride to school with young people because the neighborhoods can be very dangerous, and some of them will be cycling to school for the first time, so we are also gifting the parents our refurbished bikes, helmets and a lock for them as well,” Bowick said.

“This transportation crisis… we’re turning it into a very positive situation because we’re actually giving our parents and our students an opportunity to get healthy, to improve learning and improve those health and wellness benefits so this is a really good thing for our community,” Bowick said.

“Research actually shows that students that bike to school actually perform better on tasks that require concentration than those students that take public transportation or are driven to school,” she added.

So far, there are about 100 brand new bikes, and Monroe County Legislator-elect is hopeful about the bussing crisis.

“I think the board is more than capable and willing to put the work into remedy the situation, and I think the situation will be taken care of soon,” Burgess said.

“Rochester is not unique to challenges, but what is so wonderful about this community is our response to challenges, so it is very refreshing to see our community come together to support our students, support our parents and support our schools,” Bowick said.

Conkey Cruisers is working hard over the next 24 hours to get approximately 50 brand new bikes to ensure that students from schools 10, 17 and 22 have transportation ready for their first day of school. If you would like to donate a bike, click here.