UPDATE: LSTA Toms River Portal Now Open

As first reported by TLS last month, the Toms River Board of Education has voted to approve a resolution to enter into an agreement with the Lakewood Students Transportation Authority (LSTA) for the 2024-2025 school year, allowing the consortium to potentially transport thousands of children to schools in Lakewood.

See also the statement from the TRJCC.

“Please take the time to confirm all necessary info for each child, as it will make ALL the difference as we work towards transportation or aid in lieu (AIL) for the coming school year of 24-25,” Askonim said.

You can enter your information here: Lakewoodsta.org

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  1. Why are we being charged $80 a child!?!
    Aren’t we trying to get help paying for all these additional charges we can barely afford?
    Why is it that with every tiny little change, us parents are just squeezed for another few bucks with a click of a finger?

    We can barely afford the basics at this point.

    • There is a very logical reason you are being charged $80.00. The school district (in Jackson, and probably Toms River) pays for the administrative expenses of busing. This means administrators, secretaries, offices, computers, etc.

      The LSTA does the job for the district and has the same or similar expenses. Legally they are allowed to charge expenses up to 6% above busing costs, which is reasonable The busing amount the district allocates per child only includes the actual busing cost, not the other costs mentioned above. For the district themselves they lump the administrative costs in with the administration of everything in the school district. They don’t consider it part of busing. Therefore, they in effect are telling the LSTA to either charge the parents the administrative fees or reduce the amounts they give to the bus companies by roughly 6%.

      The LSTA could reduce the amounts given to the bus companies by 6%, but the bus companies would then refuse the bids for the routes. Those routes for public school are paid 6% more with the district absorbing the 6% administrative costs, why should they take less for private schools.

      Additionally, the bus companies profit margin is frequently around 6%. If they took for private routes 6% less than they get for the public school routes then they would be working for free, and not too many businesses work for free.

      So the bottom line is that effectively the public schools pay 6% more for transportation of public school students than they do for private school students. That 6% is what the LSTA is charging you $80 per student.

      This also makes it possible to account for routes that are not cost effective and would ordinarily not get picked up. With the $80 fee everyone is contributing to the ability of everyone to get busing and the ineffective routes are picked up. The additional cost for those routes is a small part of the $80 per student fee. Otherwise, many in Tom’s River might end up paying $1800 or more out of pocket. This way even if your school route doesn’t normally get picked up you still have a good shot at only paying $80 for $1800 dollars or so of busing cost if the LSTA persuades your school bus company to get your route picked up (because they can say to the bus companies if you don’t take sone of the non-profitable routes then you don’t get the profitable routes).

      Therefore, it is in your best interest to pay the $80. Otherwise, there will be no LSTA (they don’t either work for free). You may be stuck with aid-in-lieu, no bus, and having to pay exorbitant fees well above $80 (perhaps thousands above $80) because technically your route is expensive. Without the LSTA no one can force the bus company to take the expensive routes along with the profitable routes. Without a consortium who owns all routes the bus companies will simply take only the profitable routes and charge you an arm and a leg if you want busing on expensive routes.

      If you want, knock yourself out to try to make the district pay for the 6% expenses and you’ll eliminate your $80. It might not be fair that they underpay for private transportation but for $80 you probably have something better to do with your time.

  2. Tom’s River Little League Team Agrees To Transport Lakewood Residents To Blue Claws Games
    The Toms River Little League Baseball Team on Monday agreed to provide public transportation to Lakewood residents to ferry them to Lakewood-based Jersey Shore Blue Claws games and to furnish Blue Claws stadium vendors with an ample supply of hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn and cotton candy.
    “Baseball is America’s favorite pastime,” Toms River Little League manager Alex Buntman told reporters on Monday, “hence, we want to ensure that Lakewoodians are experiencing the same exhilaration that Toms River fans experience when they witness a home team player hitting a grandslam homerun while celebrating the rare feat with a delicious, plumpy hot dog, smothered with lots of mustard and relish.”
    “For too long, many Lakewood residents, who lack their own means of transportation, have been deprived of this life-changing experience,” he said, “so my team stepped up to the proverbial plate to make this dream a reality for the Lakewood community.”
    The Toms River Little League ball club also announced that it is teaming up with several kosher delis in Lakewood to provide kosher hot dogs to the kosher-consuming fan base during Blue Claws games.
    Mr. Buntman noted that, “The kosher-consuming fan base will also have the ability to purchase cholent, kishka, matzo ball soup and schmaltz herring during Blue Claws games.”
    “Ultimately, baseball is an all-inclusive sport,” he said, “and we want to ensure that our Jewish neighbors in Lakewood are able to enjoy a full Shabbos-like menu – on a regular weekday – during, and after the games.”
    However, the kosher-consuming fan base will have to “bring their own bentchers to the games,” he warned, “because grace after meal prayer books are not included in the aforementioned agreement.”

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