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Long Walks To School Bus Stops Begin In Elgin

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

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ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) — Wednesday was the first day back in class for students in the Elgin Area School District and the first day of a controversial new busing system.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the new busing system requires students to walk up to a mile and a half to catch a bus.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

District U-46 transportation coordinators say the system has seen only minor glitches.

Because of the longer walk, some students did not make it to their stops on time, but the buses were stacked up, and this being the first day, they waited for the kids.

One mother told Newsradio that many parents drove their kids to school or the new stops, so the real test of how the system works is yet to come.

The changes anger some parents, who checked Web sites and found that their kids would be walking past the homes of sex offenders and through high-crime neighborhoods.

Parents also worry that there will be gridlock outside of schools as children are picked up and dropped off, and also outside of high schools because of an increased number of students driving.

They question whether the cost savings is worth putting kids at risk.

District U-46 chief operations officer Jeff King last week said that after-school buses for those participating in extracurricular activities have been eliminated in the belt-tightening, forced by Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of school funding.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.