Additional 800 Pittsburgh students are walking to school due to transportation issues

PITTSBURGH — An additional 800 Pittsburgh Public School students are walking to school this year after the district expanded the walk zone to help with transportation issues.

“It’s good exercise,” said Decoda Evans. “For her. For me. She loves it.”

Decoda Evans walks her 4-year-old daughter to A Leo Weil Elementary School almost every day.

“Some mornings we’ll get a ride, and she’s like mommy I want to walk,” said Evans.

The little ones who walk live no more than a mile and a half from their schools.  High schoolers walk a max of 2 miles.

“Most of our students are transported publicly, but some of our students walk,” said PPS Interim Superintendent Doctor Wayne Walters.  “So, we want to make sure that their routes that they’re talking are safe routes, and I wanted to experience that.”

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PPS Interim Superintendent Doctor Wayne Walters walked to school with some students on ‘Walk to School Day.’  He says he met with the director of transportation on Tuesday. At this point, the district is still experiencing a seat gap of about 215 students.

“When we met there was a significant decrease in the seat gap, but we’re working every day as we recruit more bus drivers,” said Walters.  “We have some bus drivers that have been out ill, and it’s creating an impact. And of course this is a national issue, but we’re working aggressively to fix it because we want students in school healthy and safe.”

Doctor Walters says they talked about some strategies and potential fixes. He hopes to announce a big fix by the end of this week.

“They may not involve everyone getting to school on time, but I’m more invested in students being at school right now than them being at home,” said Walters.