LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Several parents in Lawton's Almor West neighborhood are angry after a bus stop was removed and they said it now forces their kids to walk to Eisenhower High School.
For as long as they can remember, parents who live in Almor West said there has been a bus stop right outside their homes at 69th and Beta. But this year, that bus stop was removed, forcing students to find a new way to school.
"It's very frustrating when you're getting ready for work and school and then you have to take on the challenge of knowing that your children aren't properly at school and you have to make arrangements to get them there," said Kanitha Faulkner.
"It's a safety issue, that's my main thing. If they have to walk, that's fine but let them get to school safely. There is no crosswalk for them to cross. The school zone is not extended, there are no sidewalks especially," said Lenora Miranda.
"I'm not going to put my kid in any danger. It's dangerous for him to walk down the highway and that main road but especially at raining times and when it snows, cars lose control and then what our kids are unsafe," said Latisha Clay.
To avoid making their children walk about a mile and a half, these parents said they have changed their schedules and are loading all of the kids up into their cars and driving them. Executive Director of Operations for LPS Kyle Smith said that is completely unnecessary thanks to a partnership between the school district and LATS.
"We have LATS passes now for every LPS secondary student and those LATS buses go right through Almor West so there's no need for anybody to have to walk. If you can't catch an LPS bus because you live in the mile and a half walking distance, you use your LPS ID and you can get on any LATS bus and travel to school that way," Smith said.
Smith said safety was one of the biggest driving forces behind the partnership with LATS.
"We know Lawton doesn't have sidewalks in every neighborhood down every thoroughfare that runs through Lawton. So that's the progress that we've made for students that haven't had this opportunity in the past," Smith said.
The LATS website said buses will stop at 67th and Gore, just two blocks from Almor West, twice each hour. You can find the routes of all LATS buses here.