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Rideshare company to help Porter Ranch students escape gas

LA School Report | January 11, 2016

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One day later than the rest of the district, students from two schools in Porter Ranch impacted by a major gas leak are expected to begin classes tomorrow at two different schools miles away after LA Unified crews worked over the winter break to prep the sites.

The 1,850 students from Porter Ranch Community School and Castlebay Lane Charter are being moved to Northridge Middle School and Sunny Brae Elementary School. And while the district is offering transportation as part of the students’ relocation, the rideshare company HopSkipDrive is offering free rides to any students who may need it.

“Thousands of families already rely on HopSkipDrive to get their children to all the places they need to go when their parents are busy at work or can’t be at two places at once. The founders, who are working moms with eight children amongst them attending schools in the LA area, understand that the safety of the children is the #1 priority in this situation and have stepped up to help the community they are serving,” HopSkipDrive said in a press release.

“Tomorrow, HopSkipDrive representatives will be available at the affected schools to answer questions from parents and community members and can show exactly what the transportation process looks like. There will also be HopSkipDrive cars on the scene.”

Parents can book rides with the company through its app or website and can track their child’s ride in real-time, according to HopSkipDrive. Click here for information on how relocated students can receive the free rides.

And the rides come as no cost to families.

“SoCal Gas has not yet shared its reimbursement program for transportation needs that are not met by the current system,” HopSkipDrive co-founder and CEO Joanna McFarland, said in a statement to LA School Report. ” HopSkipDrive is offering free rides for affected families whose needs are not met by the current system.”

LA Unified moved in bungalows and made other modifications to the school sites to accommodate the influx of new students. Construction crews worked for 20 hours every day over the holiday break except for Christmas and New Year’s Day to prep the sites, according to LAUSD.

* Adds statement from company CEO


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