Parents voice safety concerns amid bus route changes in Chesterfield County

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va., (WRIC) —  With less than two months left in the school year, some Chesterfield parents are upset over changes to their child’s bus route that went into effect Monday. 

Chesterfield County public Schools is in the process of moving from a handwritten system to an automated one.

On Monday, CCPS started testing the new system with four schools. 

One parent told 8News she is excited for progress but is worried too many changes may jeopardize her child’s safety. 

“They’re my everything, so obviously safety is at my forefront,” Reams Road Elmentary School parent Brittany Revels said. 

For Revels, her four children are her world.  She grew up in Chesterfield attending Reams Road Elementary. Now, two of her kids are in kindergarten and second grade at Reams. 

On Thursday, Revels received a letter from Chesterfield Public Schools regarding bus routes. 

“It didn’t give a whole lot of information,” Revels said. “It just said there would be a change. And they put you know our children’s information down at the bottom.”

A bus driver told Revels seven buses instead of nine would be picking up students. 

“My worry is the overcrowding,” said Revels.  “The overcrowding is the biggest issue because the buses are already full.”

CPS is using a pilot program for Reams, A.M. Davis, Alberta Smith and Harrowgate Elementary schools. 

“Why are you going to put this on top of us right now,” said Revels.  “And we’re three quarters through the school year. We are in the last nine weeks of the school year. Why?”

The school system tells 8News the administration also sent a letter prepping parents for a change before spring break but Revels says she never received it. 

On the new system, parents can now track where buses are, according to a memo sent to drivers.

That’s a change Revels welcomes.  

“Real-time GPS information which, you know, in cases like that it will definitely be helpful to know, hey where are my children?” Revels said.

Revels tells 8News the pick-up process at the bus stop Monday morning went smoothly, but the bus in the afternoon arrived 20 minutes late. 

Revels said the bus also dropped her two children off at the wrong bus stop. 

Chesterfield bus drivers also upset after receiving earlier in April a memo adding additional training days throughout the month of August. 

In 2018, bus drivers say they only trained on August 21st and 22nd. 

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