JCPS parents complain of overcrowded buses, students dropped off - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS parents complain of overcrowded buses, students dropped off at wrong stops

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In the first week of Jefferson County Public Schools' 2014-2015 school year, parents are raising concerns about about overcrowding on buses. Some say their children are sitting three to a seat with students in the aisles. 

JCPS admits there are eight overcrowded buses, but the district is hoping to fix the problem within a week.

"My concerns are the overcrowding on the bus," Terri White said. White is a mother of Crosby Middle School students. 

"I don't feel safe putting my daughters on there," she continued. "It's three to a seat, kids standing in the aisle and I just feel like if something was to happen, it's a lot of kids that are gonna get hurt."

White is just one of several parents who contacted WDRB about JCPS transportation issues. 

We obtained photos from an overcrowded bus from Highland Middle School, which shows students sitting on the floor near the emergency exit.

Other pictures show packed seats and students blocking the aisles.

Ben Jackey, a JCPS spokesman, said "There will be situations where there are three students per seat. The max is 66. We try to never get there and we don't route for 66 students on a bus."

White's daughters attend Crosby Middle School. She says she has contacted the district about her concerns, but didn't get answers.

"I don't want to put my kids on the bus," White explained, "but I can't afford to take them out to school everyday. I can't do it."

"We have eight buses that are overcrowded district wide," Jackey said. "That's not out of the ordinary for this time of year, the third day into school. It's always middle and high school buses. we really don't have that problem anymore at the elementary level because we have better routing systems to deal with that."

JCPS acknowledges a bus from Waggener High School dropped off students at the wrong stop on Thursday at 35th and Broadway.

A parent says that's 4.5 miles away from where they were supposed to be dropped off. That parent had to pick the kids up at a nearby restaurant since they didn't know where they were.

Jackey said, "It was a communication issue between the high school and the Transportation Dept. It's not acceptable and both are working to make sure it's not an issue in the future."

Another parent says her 5-year-old kindergartner was dropped off at the wrong bus stop without an adult present. The district says it wants to hear about these cases because kindergartners should not be dropped off without adults.

"If you are a family member who has a student who didn't have a good first day on the bus, that's not a successful day," Jackey said. "While we have 70,000 students who largely got to where they were supposed to go and did so. While that is fantastic, our goal is to make sure we get every student where they're supposed to be."

White says she will continue to voice her concerns. 

"I will keep calling, I will keep complaining until I see some results," White said.

If you have a bus issue, you can contact the JCPS Transportation Department at 502-485-RIDE. 

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