Chesterfield mom says bus route uncertainty has impacted her schedule, business: ‘It’s very frustrating’

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — With school starting back up for many across Central Virginia soon, parents have already begun to plan around their children’s schedules.

Preparing ahead has proved to be difficult in Chesterfield as bus routes in the county have not been made available yet. One busy parent spoke with 8News Thursday about how the lack of bus route information has led to problems.

Julie Abell says she has two kids in the Chesterfield County Public Schools system, she home-schools another and runs her own business. Abell told 8News she is having trouble booking clients because she can’t put a plan in place.

“As a small business owner I have to be able to book my clients months in advance,” said Abell. “I’ve had to turn down clients and lose clients because I can’t book them if I don’t know what time I have to be available to pick up my children.”

Last year, parents in Chesterfield complained about not knowing what to expect when it comes to bus routes. Abell spoke about the issue with 8News.

“I don’t think they were even prepared,” Abell said. “I have no idea where his bus is going to drop him off.”

If you visit the county’s website to check the bus routes, you’re met with a message informing you that it’s not available. The school system said they are not available yet.

Abell said that she’s concerned the county is going through the same issues from the previous school year.

“Posting bus schedules the week before the school starts and having everyone be in this panic mode and scrambling for child care or someone to meet the children off the bus it’s very frustrating,” she told 8News.

Chesterfield County Superintendent Mervin Daugherty says they’ve had a team working ten hours a day trying to figure out what routes work for the drivers.

“They are all now on a computerized system,” Daugherty said, “we can track all the buses, we will be announce to parents…an app, the my bus app where they can follow the bus that their child is on…so they know where it is.”

8News reached out to Chesterfield County Public Schools about the amount of driver vacancies but have yet to receive a response.

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