NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It has been a shaky start to the school year for some parents and students dealing with revamped school bus routes that are causing confusion and mix-ups.
It’s widespread enough of a problem that the schools chancellor on Sunday apologized and then promised action, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
“Right now, my children will not get back on the bus,” Sunnyside, Queens parent Maureen Cushing said.
Cushing said her young son and daughter, whose faces she asked CBS2 not show, had a chaotic bus ride to school Tuesday.
The bus driver for Grandpa’s Bus Co., which is contracted by the Department of Education, got lost.
“They said they got there late, that the driver asked them directions, asked my son for directions … that they dropped him off a few houses away from school they were all walking a couple blocks down to,” Cushing said.
She said her faith in the service also grew shakier when, she said, on other days the morning bus was a no-show.
Cushing said her kids’ school bus failed to show up at their stop three times in a single week.
“I waited until after eight and the bus did not show up. Actually, it is supposed to come at 7:27,” she said.
Contacted by phone, Grandpa’s Bus Co. spokesman Corey Muirhead told CBS2’s Carlin, “We apologize. There were issues.” He was referring to multiple bus no-shows, late arrivals and mix-ups.
He explained that drivers are handling new, longer and more complex routes.
And he said many problems are now fixed.
Some fed-up Queens parents who signed a petition for an immediate solution succeeded in getting the attention of New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.
“I want to apologize to all of our families and our students. It’s unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable, so we’re reviewing every one of our contracts,” Carranza said.
He promised review of routes, rules and drivers.
Cushing said she wants him to immediately stop using any bus company that can’t get its act together.
“I think it’s going to have to be a different company. I don’t think I’ll put my kids on a Grandpa bus,” Cushing said.
For now, it means she drives her kids to bypass the bus.
Cushing said she could hire a private bus, sharing the cost with other parents who don’t trust the current company with their kids.