How do you get to school: Voices from The Listening Post

Editors Note: The following series “Car-free Commute” is a week-long series curated by Erica Casareno as part of the Digital Research Internship Program in partnership with ViaNolaVie. The DRI Program is a Newcomb Insitute technology initiative for undergraduate students combining technology skillsets, feminist leadership, and the digital humanities.

Car-free transportation in the Big Easy is hardly ever care-free. For the New Orleanian without a car,figuring out the best mode of transit from home to to the grocery can feel as challenging as choosing what recipe to make. Amid time-shortages, potholes, frequent showers, and Louisiana heat, choosing the best form of car-less transit can be tricky. This grouping of articles explores and appreciates the different forms of transit in New Orleans, no driver’s license or car necessary.

For most New Orleans families, getting kids to school takes significant planning, sacrifice, and challenge. New Orleans locals speak on unpredictable bus schedules, New Orleans’s lottery-type school selection systems, home to school distance, and the literal challenge of getting kids to their education in this podcast originally published on NolaVie on August 12, 2020. 


Listening Post asks community members, “How do you get to school?” (Photo: Wikimedia Public Domain)

Did you know that 86 percent of students in New Orleans don’t attend the school closest to their home? Or that the cost for student transportation rose from $18 to $30 million dollars in the course of 10 years?

With that in mind, The Listening Post turned its attention toward student transportation and asked:

1) When you were in school, how’d you get there and how long did it take? Where’d you live?

2) We want to know from parents and students alike, how long does it take you to get to school now? How do you get there?

3) How does the school commute impact your family’s life? Your child’s education?


Here are a few of our favorite answers:

1) It took me no more than 15 minutes to get to my elementary school, which was Epiphany Catholic School. And it took me less than 15 minutes to get to my high school which was St. Joseph Academy. My parents drove me. I lived two blocks off of Mirabeau.

2) When I was attending elementary and high school, I walked — maybe it took me 15 minutes. I went to the nearest school in my district. I lived in Central City Area: elementary Mc Donogh#36 Junior High, Carter G Woodson, Senior High was Booker T Washington until I transferred to John McDonough on Esplanade Ave., which took me approximately 45 minutes at most on bus.

3) It is a huge amount of very limited time. It means an 8 p.m. bedtime is not always enough time with homework.


Editor’s Note: ViaNolaVie is working with the founder and producers of the The Listening Post. TLP is a community media project that aims to meet residents deep in their own neighborhoods, on porches, at libraries, in barbershops, and start conversations about local news in New Orleans and both get and share important information about life in the city. 

Each week on their WWNO radio segment, TLP explores issues ranging from healthcare and WhoDat, to tattoos and transportation. Listeners are able to contribute via TLP recording devices at local libraries or via a text messaging service, which then became source material for these programs. This piece aired on September 1, 2017.


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