PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – A Prince George mom is upset after the county bus that normally takes her daughter to school never showed up this past Monday morning.
She said she was originally told it wouldn’t show up again Wednesday.
Lisa Montgomery, a mother of a child at CodeRVA High School, said she didn’t discover the driver called out of work sick until she called the school herself — after noticing the bus never arrived.
“I am agitated. I’m frustrated,” she told 8News. She and her daughter Littona Montgomery sat waiting at the bus stop near Prince George County Public Schools transportation lot until 7:40 a.m. Monday morning.
Around that time, she said a person wearing army fatigues holding a walkie-talkie approached her to ask if her daughter goes to CodeRVA High School.
“He said there’s no bus service today. I looked at him in amazement,” Montgomery said.
Prince George County Public Schools chief support services officer Patrick Barnes told 8News Tuesday the school district didn’t notify parents the bus would be out of service Monday. He said an email would be sent out Tuesday to “fix the communication issues.”
Montgomery said it was unacceptable to not be notified that her child’s bus would be a no-show due to a driver who called out.
“I can’t afford for this to happen,” she said.
The issue stems from PGPS’ bus driver shortage of about seven drivers out of the 70 total drivers that they have on staff. Barnes said they just didn’t have any replacements.
“If she doesn’t have transportation then she cannot attend,” Montgomery said.
Littona missed two days of school because Montgomery got an automated message Monday night that said there wouldn’t be bus service on Tuesday morning going to CodeRVA.
“I was disgusted,” her mother said.
Despite that, Barnes and Dr. Kume Goranson with CodeRVA said the bus going to CodeRVA and Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School should be in service from now on.
For parents like Montgomery who work, she hopes that’s the case because she won’t be able to get Littona to Richmond herself.
“I have to get her here at 7 a.m. And at 9 o’clock, I’m at work at 8:30 a.m. but then she has to also be picked up by 2 p.m. I cannot. That’s impossible,” she told 8News.
Barnes and Dr. Goranson both said Tuesday that the bus to CodeRVA and Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School did run Tuesday morning.