New LATS Agreement Provides Free Rides for All LPS Students and Staff | New

A transportation deal that officials call “amazing” and “good deal” is officially in place for Lawton Public Schools for the fifth grade.

The agreement approved by the Lawton Board of Education earlier this month and the City Transit Trust / City Council in July allows all students and staff at Lawton Public School to take the LATS fixed route buses every time that the buses are running. These trips are free, as long as students and staff present their district badges when boarding.

“LATS is a good deal for us,” said LPS Superintendent Kevin Hime of a program that has expanded transportation options for the district.

The Memorandum of Understanding includes a fee of $ 70,000 which the District will pay to LATS for this service.

As specified, the agreement gives unlimited access at no cost to all LPS staff until June 30, 2022, the end of the school year. It also provides for this free access to all pupils, including those in elementary schools. In recent years, the service has been limited to high school students, that is, those attending middle and high schools and the Gateway Success Center.

The agreement specifies that LPS photo ID cards will be accepted as a pass for students on LATS fixed routes. Students and staff boarding LATS without a current LPS ID will be billed at the normal rate. Any student under the age of 6 must be accompanied by an adult.

Other requirements include the development and implementation of a marketing and public information program that will provide information to students and staff regarding the use of public transport and other alternative modes of transport, to and from campus, instead of private vehicles.

The benefits for LPS are varied, but include efforts to reduce congestion and parking issues on or near campuses by providing students and staff with alternative transportation. District officials said that public transportation also allows some students to participate in more extracurricular activities, which may not be possible for students who have to rely on LPS buses to get to the school. school and back. LATS fixed routes have been configured so that each LPS installation is on a fixed route or within easy walking distance.

LPS administrators said at the start of the program that the free service had also turned into an unexpected recruiting program for staff due to LATS opening hours and proximity to roads to district facilities.

The program has grown in popularity every year since its inception, said Ryan Landers, Managing Director of LATS.

“It’s a great program and we are delighted to continue it,” he said.

The program has grown over the years. A pilot program launched in January 2017 was aimed at students, but quickly spread to LPS staff. The program was limited to high school students until this school year, when it now includes elementary school students.

Eligible sites for the program include all elementary schools; Central, Eisenhower and MacArthur Colleges; the Life Ready Center (formerly Tomlinson Middle School); Eisenhower, Lawton and MacArthur High Schools; and Gateway Success Center.

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