Orange County dad says he's being forced to drive 136 miles daily to get kids to school
An Orange County dad who says he's being forced to drive 136 miles a day just to get his kids to school is turning to News 12 for help.
It's a 17-mile trek from Shawn Helbig's house in Harriman State Park to his kids' bus stop on Arden Road.
"With the bridge closed for both kids, it's close to 100 miles a day," says Helbig.
News 12 did the math and it's actually 136 miles roundtrip for two kids, twice a day – down unwalkable roads with no sidewalks, little-to-no shoulders and speed limits up to 55 mph.
"They've had multiple absences. My older son has had to go to summer school to make up the time. They've fallen behind," says Helbig.
Helbig says the bus stop for his 7- and 14-year-old kids to go to Monroe-Woodbury schools is normally 5 miles away from his house on Arden Valley Road but that this year, there's a detour because this bridge is closed.
Helbig says the district told him to drive the kids to the bridge and have them walk across it.
"They claim its 1/10th of a mile but it's actually a little more than a mile from where we have to park," says Helbig.
News 12 reached out to the school district, but it had no comment on what appears to be the problematic stop.
Helbig and his mom say they're at their wits end trying to get the kids to the bus or to two different schools, at different times, around their work schedules.
The Helbigs say there's a school bus that runs closer to their home and are asking the district to switch their kids to that route.