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Experiencing Wake School Bus Problems?

August 28, 2012 10:52 pm
Written by: Odile Fredericks

If your kids arrived at school or home late this week because of Wake County Public School System's new bus routes, you can report the problem to WCPSS at this link.

Faced with tough budget times, WCPSS implemented the new bus routes to increase ridership efficiency so as to become eligible for $3 million a year in state funding and also to save $5 million in operating costs, but they seem to be taking a step backward. Parents are upset—and rightly so—that kids are getting home more than an hour after school is dismissed although they live only 1.5 miles away. On Tuesday, Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata responded to parents' frustration with a press conference when he said the school system was working to resolve the problem.

"Our view here is that we know we have issues, we're not sugar coating this at all," he said. "I've got people in field, I'm in the field, we're trying to take a hard look at this. It's working in many places and we've got issues in some places. We're going to resolve those issues because that's what we owe the parents of Wake County."

Wake has fewer school buses on the road this year than last year, although enrollment was projected to grow this academic year. On Tuesday, Tata said four buses were added  back on the road (two in Apex area, one at Broughton High School and one at Enloe High School) and his staff would adjust routes and possibly add buses as needed.

He also said some delays were caused by traffic as more kids headed to school and everyone was back at work and that he expected bus service to improve.

"A lot of this is the typical first week of school and the adjustments that take place after a week or two of schools ... drivers are learning new routes," he said. "Most of the issues I think will improve each day and parents will see much shorter ride times and much more efficient bus service by the end of the week."

He also said that more than half of the buses are equipped with satellite GPS and the entire fleet of buses will be outfitted with GPS probably by the end of September. The GPS allows the transportation department to see where the bus is at any given time and to figure out what may have caused the delay.

Responding to a question about why parents couldn't get through to WCPSS staff to talk with someone about their bus route issues, Tata said the school system's phone lines had been flooded with 2,000 calls on Monday and Tuesday, although they had added 15 customers service reps. If you can't get through on the phone, Tata said you can email him at atata@wcpss.net, Chris Mulder at cmulder@wcpss.net or Don Haydon atdhaydon@wcpss.net, and they'll get your email to right person.

"We'll put it in the right group of issues as we look at things and make a decision; do we need to add a bus, is this a driver training issue, because there are a host of issues," he said.



If your kids arrived at school or home late this week because of Wake County Public School System's new bus routes, you can report the problem to WCPSS at this link.

Faced with tough budget times, WCPSS implemented the new bus routes to increase ridership efficiency so as to become eligible for $3 million a year in state funding and also to save $5 million in operating costs, but they seem to be taking a step backward. Parents are upset—and rightly so—that kids are getting home more than an hour after school is dismissed although they live only 1.5 miles away. On Tuesday, Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata responded to parents' frustration with a press conference when he said the school system was working to resolve the problem.

"Our view here is that we know we have issues, we're not sugar coating this at all," he said. "I've got people in field, I'm in the field, we're trying to take a hard look at this. It's working in many places and we've got issues in some places. We're going to resolve those issues because that's what we owe the parents of Wake County."

Wake has fewer school buses on the road this year than last year, although enrollment was projected to grow this academic year. On Tuesday, Tata said four buses were added  back on the road (two in Apex area, one at Broughton High School and one at Enloe High School) and his staff would adjust routes and possibly add buses as needed.

He also said some delays were caused by traffic as more kids headed to school and everyone was back at work and that he expected bus service to improve.

"A lot of this is the typical first week of school and the adjustments that take place after a week or two of schools ... drivers are learning new routes," he said. "Most of the issues I think will improve each day and parents will see much shorter ride times and much more efficient bus service by the end of the week."

He also said that more than half of the buses are equipped with satellite GPS and the entire fleet of buses will be outfitted with GPS probably by the end of September. The GPS allows the transportation department to see where the bus is at any given time and to figure out what may have caused the delay.

Responding to a question about why parents couldn't get through to WCPSS staff to talk with someone about their bus route issues, Tata said the school system's phone lines had been flooded with 2,000 calls on Monday and Tuesday, although they had added 15 customers service reps. If you can't get through on the phone, Tata said you can email him at atata@wcpss.net, Chris Mulder at cmulder@wcpss.net or Don Haydon atdhaydon@wcpss.net, and they'll get your email to right person.

"We'll put it in the right group of issues as we look at things and make a decision; do we need to add a bus, is this a driver training issue, because there are a host of issues," he said.


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