ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Parents across the Roanoke City School District are upset. Delays continued Wednesday, after some students didn’t arrive home until 5 p.m. Tuesday. The district says they are making changes to improve the routes.
“I would be really mad, because I wouldn’t want to have to wait so long just for a bus,” said student Jessica Marie.
Jessica’s mom Patricia Bobbitt drives her to and from school every day and they avoided the delays. Wednesday morning on the way to school, they wanted to see how many kids were still waiting to be picked up.
“She counted 21,” said Bobbitt, “and then out of those 21, when I came back through there at 9:00, some of them were still not picked up, and then her bus stop had just gotten picked up right at 9:00.”
School starts at 8:30.
“It is certainly our desire and goal and we will deliver all students safely, on time, and ready to learn in school,” said John Ziegler, Vice President of Durham School Services, which is the district’s new bus operator. “Yesterday and today, this morning, we did less than that, and we worked very hard already to make adjustments.”
Officials could not account for why exactly some trips took more than two hours, but they did say problems like traffic, new bus routes, and a need for more drivers could be contributing factors.
“There’s just been some errors on our part,” said Deputy Superintendent Dan Lyons, “and we own those errors, and we ask that people be a little patient, give us a couple of days. Usually, after the first week or so, everything is where it needs to be.”
Officials expect more delays until they are able to hire more drivers and improve the routes.