Study shows negative impact if Hoover cuts school bus service - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Study shows negative impact if Hoover cuts school bus service

Source: WBRC video Source: WBRC video

An independent study paid for by Hoover City Councilman Gene Smith shows that cutting school bus service would negatively impact the city's retail and housing markets.

The study says cutting bus service to Hoover city schools would disrupt the trend of housing and price growth.

If Hoover decides not to offer bus service during the 2014 school year, the impact study predicts that it would interrupt home desirablility and increasing pricing trends, ultimately harming employment, desirability and retail sales in Hoover.

The study adds that that fact that cities such as Vestavia Hills, Homewood and Mountain Brook don't have bus service is not related.

"Our anticipated outcome over the next few years of reduced school transportation disrupts the projected positive home trends. Instead our forecast is an initial leveling to slight decline trending for total home sales, a leveling trend for home pricing, and an initial leveling to slight decline in new home building," the study states.

[Read the study here: Hoover school bus impact study]

Councilman Smith paid a company just under $30,000 out of pocket to conduct the impact study. He released the study on Friday, Nov. 14.

In July, Hoover City Schools Superintendent Andy Craig recommended cutting Hoover's bus services beginning in fall 2014 to save the school system $2.5 million. Special education students would still receive bus service.

FOX6 contacted Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey on Friday morning, but Ivey says he has not yet had a chance to read the entire study, so he did not have a comment.

In the past, Mayor Ivey has downplayed the potential impact on the city if Hoover cuts its bus service. He pointed to Homewood, Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook as places where property sales were not impacted by the lack of bus service.

Hoover City Schools spokesman Jason Gaston says they have received a copy of the study, but are not yet ready to make a comment.

State school superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice and the Department of Justice are both getting involved in the Hoover school bus controversy due to what Dr. Bice calls "increased concern."

The State Dept. of Education says Hoover City Schools asked the DOJ to become involved.

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