ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - People in Albuquerque's Southwest Mesa say they have the only APS high school without a nearby city bus stop and say it needs to change.
Community members say the lack of public transportation in the area keeps students from partaking in important after-school activities like tutoring.
"There is definitely a need for this bus stop here," said Sal Treppeidi, activities director at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School.
Treppeidi has made it his mission to get students engaged, not just with class work but with after-school clubs and sports.
However, he says there has been one major hurdle.
"Kids have always told us they are not able to stay for tutoring, for example. They're not able to stay for after-school activities because they have no way of getting home," Treppeidi said.
Most students who can't drive themselves have to take the school bus as soon as soon as the bell rings at the end of the day because there isn't a convenient city bus to take.
"Everyone's like, ‘That's too far.' And then in the winter, it's so cold that we just wouldn't walk to it," said Brittney Garcia, a student at the high school.
The nearest city bus stop is at least a 15-minute walk.
Treppeidi says public transportation options need to expand along with the expanding Southwest Mesa community.
"Right next door, we have a middle school that's going up. Two miles down the road, we have a mall that's going up," Treppeidi said.
"Do we have the buses? Do we have the drivers? Do we have the money?" asked Rick De Reyes with Albuquerque's Transit Department.
City transportation officials are looking into the logistics of how a new or extended bus route would work and who would use it.
They are putting together a survey to gage interest.
"We are hoping to have it as quickly as next week, by the time registration starts so we can give it to students and faculty," De Reyes said.
If everything works out, it will still take until at least next year before a bus gets moving there.
The city says it will be handing out surveys in the community and it will also have the survey available on the city's transportation website.
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