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lower than 18. That would take in all the high schools of the city, of course.
I don't think that would be asking too much, because, as has been stated here before, I don't think it would work any hardship on the railroad companies, because, as stated by Mr. Noonan, it would only mean about half of them going one way, and half the other way, so it is not going to increase the congestion so far as transportation is concerned that I can see, or that we can see.
We worked this out-in fact, we spoke about it in committee meetings, and we have thought much about it, and we think the high-school parents are interested to the extent that there are so many in our high schools to-day who are unable to pay this high rate of fare to send their children to school, and when it comes to high-school age, so many are kept out just on that account.
I think it is the duty of you gentlemen to take this into consideration, because of the fact that we are having so many of our boys and girls dropped out of the junior high school period, and not taking up the other part of it, which is so essential in their business future. We feel that it is your duty to see that we have this fare extended to the age of at least 18, so that those people may have the advantage of high-school education.
STATEMENT OF MRS. FROST MILLS, LEGISLATIVE CHAIRMAN, BUSINESS HIGH SCHOOL
Mrs. MILLS. I just want to show the exact figures as to the increase in enrollment in high schools from December 3, 1929, up to December 3, 1930:
White, 780; colored, 318.
Statistical Circular No. 8, published May, 1927, by the office of education, reports a study by Frank M. Phillips covering 900 school systems. This study showed the average age of high-school graduates to be 18 years and 4 months.
Pupils in the Washington high schools enter the ninth year of school, which is the first year of senior high school, between the ages of 13 to 15 years. They are graduated between the seventeenth and nineteenth years.
To limit the age at which reduced fares are granted to 16 years would work a hardship upon many pupils in the last two years of the high school. Perhaps parents at that time are making the greatest struggle to keep the children in school until the time of their graduation.
This is only to ask that you make your limit 18 or 19 instead of 16, because you defeat your own purpose if you do not give it to our high-school children, because they are really the ones who need it. The other people live around their schools, and the high-school children do not.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
Now, then, I think everyone has been heard, and the committee will adjourn.
(Whereupon, at 5 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned.)
By permission of the chairman the following documents are included in the record as an appendix:)
The following articles appeared in the Washington Daily News, December 12 to 17, 1930, inclusive:
[This is the first of a series of articles giving the result of a survey by the News. Startling statistics were adduced from the replies received.]
WASHINGTON HAS HIGHEST PUPIL FARE IN THE UNITED STATES-NEWS SURVEY IN 55 CITIES OF MORE THAN 100,000 SHOWS NATION'S CAPITAL CHARGES SCHOOL CHILDREN THE MAXIMUM
(By Walker Stone)
If there is a city in the United States which charges a higher fare for the streetcar rides of school children than the 10-cent cash rate exacted in Washington, let it come forward and confess.
Replies to questionnaires sent out by the News, received from 55 cities of more than 100,000 population, reveal that in not one of these municipalities are pupils assessed more than 10 cents for rides to and from school.
FORTY-NINE HAVE LOWER RATES
Six of the 55 cities admit a rate as high as that charged in the National Capital while 49 have lower fares, ranging from 7 cents down to 2 cents, the amount provided in the bill now before Congress; and in many instances absolutely free transportation is provided for children dependent on charity.
The token rate in Washington is 71⁄2 cents. Only three cities confess a higher fare for school children; 47 boast a lower charge, and 5 exact the same rate.
A similar situation exists regarding the charge for a school child's ride on motor busses. In only one city, St. Paul, Minn., is the charge higher than the 10 cents required here. The rate in St. Paul is 121⁄2 cents.
Cash bus fares for school children are lower in 35 cities, and the same in 14. No token rate is provided for busses in Washington, but by use of tokens or tickets, a lower charge than the 10-cent rate is provided in 41 of the cities reporting. Only eight others have a flat 10-cent charge.
PUPILS FAVored elsewHERE
Of the 55 cities, 38 provide lower fares for school children than for adults, while 17 take the same hardboiled attitude that is adopted in Washington-that each person who rides must pay, whether he be large or small, rich or poor, occupies a seat or hangs on a strap. And of those 17, only 7 have rates as high as are charged on Washington street cars.
Likewise, with regard to bus fares; in 35 cities, reduced rates are granted school children, while in 16 their fares are the same as those charged adults.
[This is the second of a series of articles giving the result of a survey by the News]
LOW FARE IN MOST CITIES APPLIES TO ALL STUDENTS-ONLY 3 OUT OF 55 CITIES CANVASSED DENY REDUCTION TO PUPILS OF PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL STUDENTS-REFUTES DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PLEA
(By Walker Stone)
The argument now on in Washington as to whether the proposed reduction in street car and bus fares for sdhool children should apply only to students attending public schools seems foolish in light of the practice in other cities of the country. Only 3 of the 55 cities, from which replies were received to The News' questionnaire, reported that pupils enrolled in private and parochial schools were denied the reduced fares. These three cities are Los Angeles, Dallas, and El Paso, Tex.
One other city, Newark, N. J., excluded private school pupils from the enjoyment of lower fares, but includes those attending parochial schools.
It was this question which last year deadlocked the pending 2-cent car fare bill in Congress. As passed by the House, the measure limits the lower fares to
public school students. Several Members of the House, however, have since angrily declared that they never would have allowed the bill to pass if they had known of the discriminatory provision.
All of the members of the Senate District Committee last spring were in favor of amending the bill to grant the 2-cent rate to private and parochial school students but Senator Robsion, Republican of Kentucky balked on the amendment. Robsion was defeated in the recent election and retired from the Senate, leaving the committee unanimously in favor of making the same rate of fare apply to all school children.
The wisdom shown of the other committee members in refusing to allow Robsion to stampede them into passing the House bill, without amendment, is borne out by the almost universal practice of other municipalities.
ALL CITIES OF 100,000
Each of the 55 cities surveyed by The News has a population of more than 100,000, and in most of them the question of reduced car fares for school children was settled when the traction lines were given franchises.
It is significant that in each of three exceptions mentioned above-Los Angeles, Dallas and El Paso-the discrimination was not invoked by the residents of the cities.
In Los Angeles the half fare for public school students was ordered by the California State Railroad Commission, and in the two Texas cities, the half fare for public school pupils is provided by a law passed by the state legislature. However, in Fort Worth, Tex., only a few miles from Dallas, the traction company went beyond the State law to grant, voluntarily, the same half rate to parochial school students.
[This is the third of a series of articles giving the result of a survey by the News] STUDENT FARE ALLOWANCE SHOWN TO WORK SMOOTHLY-SURVEY REVEALS PLAN WORKS WITHOUT DIFFICULTIES IN 55 CITIES-DETROIT PROVIDES FREE RIDES FOR NEEDY
(By Walker Stone)
In Detroit street cars carry needy children to and from schools free of charge. It was the attempt of John J. Noonan to secure the same accomodations for the indigent wards of Washington that last spring brought the passage by the House of the bill providing a 2-cent car fare for all children attending public schools. Noonan is now trying to get the bill by the Senate with an amendment extending the lower rate to all school children, but he has been confronted by vigorous opposition of traction company officials who hold that the 2-cent rate is too low.
In Detroit there is no special rate of fare for school children who can afford to pay the regular adult rate of 6 cents, but to all pupils whose parents can not afford the price of car tokens the school board issues books of passes free of charge.
DETROIT SYSTEM IDEAL
The Detroit street-car system is owned by the municipality, and the handling of street-car tickets for needy pupils is a simple matter. There are some who argue that if a similar plan was inaugurated here, it would be necessary for the school system to reimburse the traction companies for the free tickets. But this is merely an academic argument as to whether the car riders or the taxpayers should carry the burden. Under the law, the car companies can demand and secure fare increases when they are not earning a reasonable return on investment. Senator James E. Couzens is the father of Detroit's model street car system. When he was mayor of the city Senator Couzens waged a terrific and successful battle with the private traction companies, forcing them to sell their lines to the municipality.
Another bone of contention here in the reduced car-fare question has been the problems of administration.
The News recently sent out a questionnaire on different aspects of the reduced car-fare controversy to all cities in the country with a population of more than 100,000.
NONE REPORTS DIFFICULTY
Fifty-five of these cities have replied, and not one, wherein reduced car fares are granted, reports any difficulty in administering the lower rates.
In Erie, Pa., this problem has been simplified by a rule which allows a reduced rate to any child who enters a street car packing books under his arm. In several other cities, determination of whether a young passenger is a school student is left to the discretion of conductors.
In Newark, N. J., inspectors ride the cars daily to prevent any abuse of the lower rate.
But the systems employed in most cities is to have the young passengers carry with them identification cards signed by their school teachers or principals. This is modified in other places by requiring that the reduced fare tickets be sold through the school system.
[This is the fourth of a series of articles giving the result of a survey by the News]
ALL STUDENTS GET CAR FARE CUT IN MAJORITY OF CITIES AGE LIMITS IMPOSED IN FEW OF 55 CITIES WHERE REDUCTION IS IN EFFECT THREE CENTS IS AVERAGE FARE
(By Walker Stone)
All students attending grade and high schools, parochial or public, are given the benefit of reduced street car and bus fares in most of the cities of the country, from which replies have been received to questionnaires sent out by the News.
Limits as to the age of students are imposed in only a few of the 55 cities which replied to the questionnaire. In the few cities that do have limits, the required age ranged from under 12 to under 21.
The age limit proposed by the Public Utilities Commission in the 2-cent car fare bill for Washington, now before Congress, is 16. The Senate District Committee at its last meeting indicated a desire to boost this limit to 18, the approximate age of a high school senior.
Supporters of the car fare measure will urge that an age limit not be added. As it passed the House, the bill stipulates no age, but extends the 2-cent rate to all public school students. The Senate committee has eliminated the word "public," without objection on the part of any of the bill's sponsors.
Three cents is about the average fare charged to school children in those cities of the 55 reporting, where a reduction is granted to pupils. Two cents is the rate charged in Salt Lake City, and in San Diego, Calif. Two and one-half cents is the rate in about a dozen cities, while in others the charge ranges to as high as 5 cents, the rate which will go into effect here if the street car companies are successful in their attempt to make the reduced fare a half fare.
Strangely, it was Senator William King (D., Utah) who in the Senate District Committee last week suggested that the 2-cent provision of the car fare bill be stricken, and that the bill be reworded to give the Public Utilities Commission power to set a half rate.
Salt Lake City, the largest city in King's home state, has the 2-cent rate to which he objected for Washington school children.
[This concludes a series of articles giving the result of a survey conducted by the News relative to reduced street car and bus fares for school children in other cities of the country]
WASHINGTON FAR BEHIND OTHER CITIES IN MATTER OF STUDENT TRANSPORTATION-MOST RURAL COMMUNITIES PROVIDE FREE BUS SERVICE, WHILE CUT RATES PREVAIL IN CITIES
(By Walker Stone)
Washington, the rich Capital City of this rich country, has lagged far behind the progressive cities of the Nation in making school attendance economical and convenient.
It was not until last year that Congress finally passed a law providing free textbooks to the students of public schools. Students attending parochial and private schools still have to purchase their own books and supplies.
Practically every up-to-date rural school district in the country provides free bus transportation for the children to and from schools. Although many of the school children in this city have to trudge as far as three miles to and from school every day, the city has done nothing toward providing economical or convenient transportation.
Nearly all of the other large cities in the country have attempted to cope with this situation. Free bus transportation has been inaugurated in a few municipalities, and in others the traction companies and regular bus lines have been compelled to carry school children at reduced rates.
So that intelligent guidance might be given to consideration of the students reduced fare bill now before Congress, The News sent out a questionnaire to all of the cities in the country with a population of more than 100,000. Rates charged to both adults and school children, in the 55 cities which replied to the questionnaire, are listed in the following table: