Washington, Mar 5: A student living in Queens, the US, officially has one of the longest school commutes on the planet.
The Bronx HS of Science student travels a journey of more than five hours every day that tops the trips of everyone from a Brazilian kid on a donkey to a Thai girl in a rickshaw.
Santiago Munoz’s two-bus, two-subway trip to one of the country’s premier high schools will be featured in a photo exhibit at the United Nations detailing the hardships children face getting to school.
According to the New York Post, many of the kids highlighted in the exhibit are from developing countries, including a girl in Kenya who walks two hours to school.
But 14-year-old Santiago’s daily journey from a Far Rockaway housing project to the tip of Manhattan, then up near the top of The Bronx, and back again, stands out for its extreme duration.
The one-way trip runs between 2 hours, 20 minutes and 2 hours, 40 minutes depending on how transit is running.
Nonetheless, Santiago, who rarely has time to hang out with friends, is not complaining.
The ninth-grader wakes up at 5 a.m. every day to reach school.
Santiago, whose mom died when he was six, leaves the six-room apartment he shares with his dad, aunt, grandmother, two siblings and cousin just before 6 a.m.
Because parts of the A-train route were wiped out by Hurricane Sandy, he must board the Q22 bus, which he takes to the Q52 or Q53.
According to the report, either bus, he boards whichever comes first, will take him to the Rockaway Boulevard A-train station.
He rides that train into Manhattan, where he gets off at Fulton Street to board an uptown 4 train. He takes the 4 to Bedford Park Boulevard, then walks 10 minutes to his school.
On days when he has extracurricular activities, he takes twice a week at the Museum of Natural History, he might not get home until 9 p.m.
According to the report, he could have gone to school closer to home, but the aspiring physician chose Bronx Science for its famed math and science programmes.
He uses his time on trains to catch up on schoolwork – if he gets a seat.
The photo exhibit, titled Journeys to School, was sponsored in part by Veolia, the international transit company that runs Nassau County’s bus system, it added. (ANI)