How powerful is a school bus

The parents concerned were displeased when in September 2015 the Starnberg City Council followed by a narrow majority the suggestion made by then Mayor Eva Pfister to integrate school transport into local public transport. School buses were canceled, instead they went to classes by MVV: Primary school students in grades 1 to 4 took buses to school from 2016 onwards.

Many parents, especially from Hadorf, Landstetten and Perchting, went to the barricades and a parents' initiative was founded. But the demand for a return to the old system was unsuccessful - and many worried mothers and fathers preferred to drive their children to school themselves from now on. Now, however, there is to be some turning back: on Wednesday, the city council unanimously approved the transport of pupils to the primary schools in Söcking and Percha with school buses outside the public transport network, which could start as early as September.

Three citizens' applications from Landstetten got the ball rolling - or in this case the bus: Crossing the street was too dangerous despite the traffic island and "smiley", a separate school bus would better protect against Corona, the travel times are inconvenient, and they would also be Children sometimes spoken to by unknown people; even the police were called in as a result. Aim of the applications: A reintroduction of the school bus instead of the transport by regular bus.

The city administration saw it differently. A first experience report was presented in the summer of 2016; "Smaller disruptions or complaints in everyday life", it says in the submission, were processed and resolved promptly in cooperation with the district office and MVV, further optimizations - delivery and stopping areas, traffic islands or narrow lanes - were decided and implemented. In addition, the city also covered the costs for schoolchildren who did not have to travel: the 365-euro ticket has been available since September.

But the criticism remained. Above all, the CSU repeatedly complained about deficiencies: Many bus drivers do not speak German and sometimes do not know timetables or routes. Hair-raising situations have repeatedly arisen. Stops were ignored and the children were instead released on the open road. Occasionally, drunks molested the frightened children without the driver intervening. In particular, smaller children who cannot read yet are often overwhelmed by getting the right bus, argued CSU local chairwoman Charlotte Meyer-Bülow; Katja Fohrmann even described the cancellation of the school buses as a "crazy idea". And Winfried Wobbe (UWG) added: "The MVV has drivers who don't stick to the timetable." The children are afraid, they end up somewhere - and often enough they don't have a cell phone with them.

The city council did not want to ignore the situation. There are now calls for tenders for the primary schools in Söcking and Percha. But this has its price: the school buses could cost around 70,000 euros from September for 2021 alone. It remains to be seen whether this sum can be compensated for by eliminating MVV amplifier buses. In addition, the city must continue to fulfill the contracts with the district office and MVV. The so far balanced draft for the administrative budget of the city is in any case obsolete. And desires should be aroused: Other schools could also be interested in a school bus.