Chesterfield parents express concern with school bus schedule uncertainty

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Classes are underway in Chesterfield County but parents say bus routes and transportation for students has not been reliable so far this school year. Some told 8News Monday that they are worried about their children’s safety.

Parents said they are left wondering if the bus will show up to their neighborhood early or late, and also what time their child will arrive home.

Cindy Long and Katie Hooper both have multiple children in the district. Long’s daughter attends Greenfield Elementary School.

“She was on the bus at regular dismissal time,” Long said of her daughter. “At 5:30 ended back at the school with no call from transportation to the parents. Fortunately, one of her friends has a cell phone so she started texting her parents.”

Long told 8News that the bus that picks up her son for Robious Middle School is set to arrive at 6:51 a.m. She said the bus showed up early Monday morning and left several kids.

“My son’s bus was 10 minutes early and left 15 kids here,” Long said. “My daughter’s bus was at least 30 minutes late. So, two of my four kids had to be driven to school.”

Hooper shared a similar story with 8News. Her daughter’s bus driver has multiple routes after school, she said.

“And they’re not leaving the school until 4:45,” Hooper explained. “If they’re lucky they’re leaving around 4:45. When school gets out at 3:55. So her bus is sitting at the school waiting on the driver to finish another route.”

The two Chesterfield mothers said the new “My Stop” app is not working properly. They said they are still waiting on answers from the school system.

A spokesperson for Chesterfield schools said their initial data shows that nine out of every 10 buses are arriving before the bell rings to start the school day. They said there are a few hot spots and a driver shortage but overall, the county has seen improvements from last year.

Read the full statement from Chesterfield schools:

Understanding parent concerns about missed instructional time at the start of the school day, our initial data shows that approximately 9 out of every 10 buses are arriving before the bell rings to start the school day. We still do have some hot spots and a driver shortage, but overall we have seen improvements from last year and are continuing to monitor and make enhancements where necessary. We’ve made small tweaks to bus routes given feedback from parents, students and staff members. Our bus drivers are doing an outstanding job transporting nearly 50,000 of our approximately 62,000 students to and from school, and we sincerely thank them for their service.”

Shawn M. Smith, Director of Government, Policy and Media Relations for CCPS

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