ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — To help with the on-going transportation crisis at the Rochester City School District, two local organizations teamed up Wednesday to help students and their families.
Conkey Cruisers and Exercise Express donated roughly 150 bikes at three different Rochester schools to students and parents who have been impacted by the bus driver shortage.
“This is an exciting day for Rochester. I think with all the criticism our district takes every day, that the transportation crisis and the new bike to school initiative is going to be a paradigm change for our district and we will be the leaders in this region for getting kids to school on bikes,” said Theresa Bowick, the Captain and Executive Director of Conkey Cruisers.
Bikes, helmets, and locks were given out to students at Schools #10, #17 and #22. Parents and students were excited to receive theirs.
“My mom can actually go to work and have a good life at work and we can just go to school and have fun,” said Jose Rodriguez, a 7th grader.
Dana Davis, who has a daughter at School #22, said she was happy her daughter and her both received a bike.
“This is a big booster for everybody,” Davis said. “Mom gets one also, so we can pair up and ride together because there is a lot going on on our streets and things, safety is number one and me being able to be with her… that really works.”
Conkey Cruisers and Exercise Express said they are also educating students on how to ride safely.
“We will fit them with helmets, they will all receive a bell as an accessory to their bike. They are going to be having visible vests that they can also utilize, so they can be seen on the road and understand that they are motorists on the road,” said Karen Rogers, with Exercise Express.
Rogers said have also reached out to community members and leaders to ask them to be bike monitors near the schools. She said there would be training and background checks done.
“Parents are going to act as bike monitors for their students. These volunteers are going to come together, we have an educational portion where we are going to teach them how to ride and be safe, but they will be riding with parents, they will be riding with volunteers, it takes a community,” Rogers said.
The two organizations say they are appreciative of all the help from community so far.
“The community is awesome. We have received several donations from various individuals, agencies, we have purchased bikes from Walmart, brand new bikes from Walmart, so that our community can answer the call and get these students to school safely,” Rogers said.