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3,000 SCS students receive free MATA bus passes

Data pix.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Between homework, tests and extra-curricular activities, kids these days have a lot of stuff to worry about. Transportation now longer needs to be one of them.

Shelby County Schools began distributing some 3,000 MATA bus passes to high schoolers like Samantha Feathers this week as part of a new partnership between the two entities.

The Kingsbury High student is on the wrestling team and walks about a mile to and from school each day.

“It would help me to get to school in the mornings so I don’t have to walk and getting home, and like, getting home after practice.”

Carlos Watkins said he depends on his football coach for rides.

“It’s hard. It’s very tiring because when I get home, all I do is go to sleep.”

At a cost of $300,000 to the district, MATA and SCS teamed up to give out 3,000 bus passes to students. It's something they say students themselves suggested during a recent community forum, arguing it would keep them from missing class, help them get better grades and even address poverty issues plaguing Memphis families.

"When you can help them get to work, when you can help them stay after school for tutoring, you know you’re creating a better student and a better participant – not only a participant, but someone that gives back to society," said SCS School Board member Kevin Woods.

And it’s not just kids- parents are getting the passes, too.

If all goes well the hope is to expand and give our even more in the future.

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