Transport can be less expensive

To the editor:

Ohio’s RC 3327.02 requires the Oberlin school board to pay between $3,500 and $12,942 in lieu of transportation for 14 kids to Lake Ridge Academy, a reputable private school. This will only rise when Betsy DeVos imposes thievery from the public purse to enrich her charlatan private school cronies.

An UberX car from Oberlin to Lake Ridge Academy costs about $15. Four Ubers to ferry 14 students to and from school for a year would cost $21,120. With the expected savings of negotiating a bulk contract, the cost of Ubers is not much more than the Ohio Department of Education will compel the Oberlin school board to pay to parents who will have to figure out alternative transportation. The cost of Ubers is significantly less than the school board is currently spending on this route.

Furthermore, one bus emits 953 pounds of carbon dioxide per 100 miles. Four Ubers would emit 354 pounds. Even worse, school buses are notorious for “self-pollution” – emitting between 27 and 94 grams per million of their diesel emissions directly into the lungs of their passengers, our children. Pollution from four Uber cars is substantially less than that from one stinky yellow diesel bus and significantly lower than what can be expected from the massed private cars of all the affected parents.

Are there other savings and environmental benefits to be enjoyed if local government is willing to forgo ownership of their own fleets? Can we replace expensive contracts with Lorain County Transit and others, and take advantage of private ride hailing services?

Taking advantage of subordinates and employees must not be tolerated; programmers who knowingly contributed to the Greyball software tool behaved unethically: they are a disgrace to the profession. There are ride hailing companies besides Uber.

Rhys Price Jones