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If you have places to go, public transportation is environmentally friendly, affordable and convenient. All it takes is some respect and common courtesy to ensure everyone has a safe, comfortable ride.
Luxton School's student ESD team recently held a special Bus Ridership training day to teach fellow students and community members about the right way to ride. Winnipeg Transit even brought buses in for students to conduct their safety sessions.
"Our Education for Sustainable Development Team of student leaders have developed a plan to improve the 'culture' of bus ridership on our City of Winnipeg Public transportation Buses," said teacher Robert Schulz. "The idea is to train students/parents in bus behaviour, much like the school division does training on their school buses."
Luxton has had an ongoing relationship with Winnipeg Transit, making many special presentations and efforts to acknowledge the hard work and service their staff members provide to the community-at-large. That includes offering support after Winnipeg Transit driver Irvine Fraser was murdered on the job in 2017.
Sustainable development goals
Supporting public transportation also fits in with the school's ambitious sustainable development goals.
Students Martyna and Claudia Otulak said that as the only elementary school with a designated Eco-Globe status, Luxton students and staff are trying to share sustainable development ideas and improvements with the surrounding community.
"We have become an (Eco-Globe) transformation level school…this means we take our learning to the community and practise it," Claudia said. "The importance of doing this is so that the future generations know how to ride the bus and are not concerned for their safety."
"We appreciate everybody for coming today. Everyone has been so cooperative in this journey of making Winnipeg a better place," Martyna added. "The future of the next generation is your hands and our hands."
The event brought out a large roster of special guests, including Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth, city councillor Ross Eadie, Almagamated Transit Union Local 1505 President Aleem Chaudhary, former MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis and former MLA Gord Mackintosh.
Chief Smyth said he always sees Luxton students out in the community, setting an example and demonstrating what they've learned in school.
"You are becoming terrific citizens of the community," Chief Smyth said.
He added that the bus clinic was an excellent idea.
"Thousand and thousands of people ride the bus every day, and not everybody knows how to act, how to be polite and how to interact with other people in a small space. One of the simple things that I remember when I rode the bus is just giving up your seat for an elder. I don't see that as much anymore, so I'm thrilled today that (Luxton students) are going to teach us what we should all be doing."
The special event also included a WPS armoured vehicle, an ambulance and fire truck for students and parents to experience.
In addition, Manitoba Public Insurance hosted a bike rodeo for Luxton students as part of the May 9 event. Staff from The WRENCH program were also on hand to repair students' bicycles and offer advice. A total of 15 bicycles were also given away for needy students.