Local teen making sure people in his community have access to transportation to help those in need

Shayla Girardin Image
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Teenager goes extra mile to help others access transportation
Max Romero is happy to go the extra mile for his community. The 16-year-old saw. a need for help with transportation... and he worked to fix things

SIERRA MADRE, Calif (KABC) -- A local teen is making sure people in his community are getting the transportation help they need. Literally, the bus stops with him!

Max Romero is happy to go the extra mile for his community. The 16-year-old has a passion for transportation.

"In high school, that passion became more of a reality for me. I had the choice to start walking to and from school using public transportation routes, taking the train, taking the bus," Max said.

But that's when he discovered a real need in the community.

"I started to notice the problem when the nearest bus stop was a couple miles away from my house. Meaning, I would have to wake up and leave my house at 5 in the morning," said the teen.

Due to the lack of bus services, Max would wake up three hours before school and walk two miles to Pasadena to catch the bus.

"Max needed to find a solution to get to school, but out of that he really decided, 'You know what, if I'm having this issue, so are other kids,' and he really took it on himself to write an op-ed and to attend the city council meetings and really advocate for this," said Michelle Romero, Max's Mom.

Recognizing the problem, he wrote an op-ed in the local paper and spoke at a city council meeting.

"He came before city council to talk about transportation and told us about some of the challenges the youth are facing to get to school and to get to afterschool events," said Sierra Madre Mayor Pro Tem Robert Parkhurst.

The council decided to create a transportation committee - including Max as the only student member. The committee has already taken action, meeting with Metro and other transportation companies.

"We had no bus routes, no way to get around, no mobility," Max said. "Ten months later we now have a solution, we're actively looking to implement that solution and we're actively reaching out, doing our due diligence and work to make sure our city is heard."

Max says this is just the start. He's been asked to join two other city committees and has plans to advocate for dedicated bus routes in other areas.