**Editors note: APD’s contract cost was corrected to $1.2 million

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  It’s a new form of transportation for struggling Albuquerque Public School at-risk students without a reliable ride to class. APS hopes the Uber-like partnership will help get more students to the classroom.

“They use basic transportation vehicles, they don’t use buses. So there are cars that they use, and minivans, they can use minivans so, it depends on the driver and how many students they’ll be transporting at one time,” said APS Student, Family, and Community Supports, Executive Director, Kristine Meurer.

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The new program approved by the APS school board Wednesday has the district partnering with a Cincinnati group called First Student. The partnership allows reliable transportation for APS K-12 students who are either homeless or in the foster care system and can’t always catch a bus. “It’s basically an alternative transportation, sort of a last resort to ensure that those children can go to their school of origin. So the school that they should be in, even though they may not be living close to that school anymore,” Meurer said.

The district said it’s never done this, but hopes to keep the highest-risk kids in class instead of falling behind. “We are hoping that we will help them stay in their school of origin. Which school is this one stable part? There are others, but it is a stable part of these children’s lives and we don’t want to disrupt that,” Meurer said.

While on the surface it may seem like a ride-share service, the district said it’s far more secure. That’s something child advocates are in support of. “We are pleased to see the district really finding innovative solutions to ensure our kids are getting to school,” said New Mexico Child First Network Executive Director, Maralyn Beck.

APS said the $1.2 million contract for the project will last for four years. They estimate right now at least 30 students will benefit from it.