As of February 17, a back to class staggered. Two weeks later, students of all levels will have already returned to school. How will they get there, while the City continues to go through the pandemic? The Buenos Aires government negotiates with the National and the Province to increase the supply of collective. At the same time, it will implement different initiatives to facilitate transfers by car, bicycle or on foot. The school buses with a protocol.
Regarding public transport, which today operates with a summer frequency, national government sources confirmed that the jurisdictions work together to coordinate their availability when returning to school. While the City asks a greater offer of groups in school hours, from the Nation, they proposed that students enter in a staggered manner. In this way, the rush hour of arrival would be relieved.
“We are coordinating with the national and provincial governments the best way to order the entry and exit of students,” explain sources from the Buenos Aires Government. Although it is possible that some minimum staggering will be determined within the entry and exit times, no more 15 minutes. It will be with the aim of avoiding agglomerations in the income to educational establishments. The proposal in all cases will arise from the schools with the directives established by the Ministry of Education to begin face-to-face classes. “
Meanwhile, the Secretary of Transportation of the City, Juan José Méndez, announced in a press conference with Horacio Rodríguez Larreta that public transport will be a priority for students and teachers in the entrance and exit times of the schools.
For this, the Buenos Aires Government will place posters in the main stops and waiting spaces for public transport in the City. But respect for school priority will depend on social responsibility. “It is going to appeal to the collaboration of all, as a basic consensus to achieve a cultural change,” they explained in the Executive.
Public transportation will be a priority for students and teachers during school entry and exit times. Photo Luciano Thieberger
With respect to subway, Due to the coronavirus, 55 of the 90 stations in total are open. And at the moment there are no plans to open more.
Another alternative to get to school will be the school buses. According to the Buenos Aires government, hygiene and prevention measures will be reinforced and drivers will be separated by a plastic divider, or maintaining a safety distance of at least 2 meters.
The protocol indicates that only seated boys will be admitted and that from the age of 6 it will be mandatory that they wear a mask. The trips should be made with the windows open to promote natural ventilation.
The truth is that the school buses are already transporting the boys who go to the summer camps. “In principle we have a safety and hygiene protocol, worked together. And there are the conditions given to return to classes and that school transport can be used. We already had it prepared for September and is being used for colonies“, points out Pablo Camacho, in charge of the Association of Owners of School Buses, Tourism and the Like.
School buses during a protest in November, in front of Quinta de Olivos. Now they are working: they transfer the boys who attend summer camps. Photo Juano Tesone
Camacho assures that they have not had problems in the buses. “In principle we take all the precautions so that the protocol is complied with. The most important thing is to have a cabin that isolates the driver, take the temperature of the children when they get on the bus, have a sanitizing mat, and have assigned seats for the drivers. door-to-door trips. Cloth curtains were removed and bottles of alcohol gel were placed for the boys. the micro is disinfected after each transfer“, he details.
In www.buenosaires.gob.ar/movilidad You can verify which are the vehicles and drivers of school transport enabled and access the protocol.
On the other hand, bicycle trips will be encouraged. With a view to the return of classes, together with Banco Ciudad, the facilities will be expanded to access one of their own. During February and March you can buy bikes at up to 36 installments without interest.
Between February and March you can buy bicycles in up to 36 installments without interest, through Banco Ciudad. Photo Maxi Failla
In addition, the Buenos Aires Ministry of Transportation undertook to reinforce the presence of Traffic Agents in the main corridors of the cycle path network to ensure travel safety. And a survey of the busiest school buildings is being done to incorporate bicycle racks. Is that one of the biggest obstacles when using the bike as a means of transport is the difficulty in finding a safe place to leave it.
The system Ecobici It will remain free from Monday to Friday, for the first half hour. Public bicycles may be used by secondary students over 16 years of age and by teachers.
In the Buenos Aires government they foresee that the parents who can take their children by car they are going to go to school, much more than before. That is why the “Up and Down” program in 140 schools, to prevent cars from double parking. This system is used to order the arrival of the children and prevents parents from having to get out of the vehicles. The boys are greeted by volunteers, who help them get down and accompany them to the school gate.
This year the “Up and Down” program will be implemented again, so that parents can drop off their children at school without having to get out of the car or double park. Photo: Luciano Thieberger.
A good part of the students, however, can make it to school walking. The official plan to avoid crowds at the doors of schools is to carry out partial street cuts to widen the sidewalksSo kids can comply with social distancing. It is a modality similar to that seen in some very busy avenues in the City, such as Triunvirato, Corrientes or Nazca. The areas where the new cuts will be made are not yet defined.
In addition, the Buenos Aires Ministry of Justice and Security will resume the “Safe Trails” program to accompany and take care of the boys who walk to school. Until a year ago there were 268. In these circuits there is a greater presence of the City Police and Prevention Agents. The collaboration of merchants and neighbors is also requested, so that they are attentive during school hours.