Letters to the Editor: How Culver City used free TAP cards to deal with school traffic

School drop-off traffic
Motorists are stuck in traffic trying to drop off their children at Paradise Canyon Elementary School in La Cañada Flintridge in 2019.
(James Carbone / La Cañada Valley Sun)

To the editor: To borrow the words used by Emily St. Martin to close her piece on the hell that is school drop off and pick up, the Culver City Unified School District has already created the drop-off and pick-up lines we want to see in the world — in the form of free Transit Access Pass cards, or TAP cards, for all 7,000 students.

Last school year, our Board of Education voted to form a partnership with Culver CityBus, offering students unlimited free rides. Culver CityBus added dedicated routes for picking up students from points around Culver City and dropping them off at school sites, then reverse after school.

Free TAP card privileges extend regionally to Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, the L.A. County Metro, and the city of Los Angeles’ DASH busses. Last year, Culver City students boarded nearly 37,000 times on these various forms of public transit.


My two high schoolers take advantage not only of busing to and from school, but also of public transit to get to the mall, Santa Monica and downtown L.A., saving not only Mom and Dad from hell, but also Mother Earth too.

Joanna Brody, Culver City


To the editor: Some aspects of the good old days were very good indeed. Attending local schools after World War II, my classmates and I were never subjected to car lines.

We walked to school every day. Those who didn’t walk took school buses. There were no angry parents and no gasoline wasted, and we got more exercise.

Sometimes the solution is in the rearview mirror.

Dave Sanderson, La Cañada Flintridge


To the editor: St. Martin nailed it for the parents, but what about residents near the schools? For five days a week, we endure parents who feel they are entitled to block our driveways. The parents who double-park make it impossible for any other drivers, let alone emergency vehicles, to go up or down the street.


Some play their car’s sound system as loud as they can before 8 a.m. Other parents think it’s OK to dump their trash in front of our homes, even dirty diapers.

For residents, these last two years have been the worst, and don’t blame it on the pandemic. It’s the parents who for some reason display nastiness toward other parents, school staff and neighbors who ask them not to block our driveways.

We have been communicating with the Los Angeles Unified School District and other agencies about this crazy situation that parents have created. Some say they are sorry for the behavior of their fellow parents, but these understanding souls are few and far between.

How long should it take for officials to come up with a better drop-off and pickup plan? Last year, some people were hit by drivers; I was told one student ended up at Children’s Hospital. Personally, I’m waiting for a child to suffer a much more serious injury before this situation is resolved.

Bonnie Kalaf, Studio City