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Travel trainers teach teens transit

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Cherriots partners with Salem-Keizer School District to offer travel training to young parents

Combine 35 teen moms, one teen dad, a few buses, and a bus driver with two highly skilled public transportation instructors. The result? Success.  

“Melissa (Kidd) and Lisa (Carignan) did an amazing job,” said Sara Muir, college and career coach with the Roberts High School Teen Parent Program. “We had a wonderful opportunity to partner with Cherriots to train our teen parent students about riding the bus, how to navigate bus routes, rules of riding the bus, and how to navigate using the bus when you have a baby or a small child with a stroller.”

Daniel Parker, Cherriots driver and instructor, assisted the travel instructors and demonstrated how a child could topple over in a stroller if not properly secured. He also showed them how to request and access the bus ramp for safer boarding.

“Having the opportunity to go on the bus, see what you do with the strollers and where to sit was very beneficial,” said Muir.

In addition to learning about safety and accessibility features, the students learned how to plan trips and pay fares. Before heading out, the students broke out into two groups and actually planned a trip.

From their building at Winema Place, the class walked to the bus stop and boarded. For this exercise, the instructors used Routes 5, 11, and 13.  Along the way, they pointed out places that the students could get to by bus in 10 minutes or less. Of particular interest was the Marion County WIC Office on Center Street.  

“I think the training, the demonstration, and then riding the bus helped the students feel comfortable with the bus system,” said Muir. “Many are often intimidated and nervous to ride the city bus. We hope that this hands-on training and information alleviates these fears for these students.”

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