NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than a month into the school year, some New York City parents say their children’s bus routes are still disorganized.
They say their kids wait more than an hour for buses that sometimes don’t even show up, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Tuesday.
Cellphone video shows 11-year-old Shaquan, who has cerebral palsy, being helped off his school bus on Friday at 5:30 p.m., two hours late, his mother said.
“It’s crazy, because I’m always here thinking what’s going to happen this afternoon,” Uranda Samuels said.
Samuels said the school bus is extremely unreliable for both pick up and drop off. Her son goes to P993 in Bayside, Queens, which is 10 minutes from her house. However, she can’t drop him off since she works early mornings. So, her 18-year-old son waits with his younger brother.
“I’m a single parent and I have to leave him there to rush to work. Two hours, probably three hours, he’s there sitting, waiting in his wheelchair,” Samuels said.
Meanwhile, over in College Point, Sandra Bucheli said her 11-year-old son, Joshua, is often late to class at JHS 194, because the bus picks him up after school has started at 8:15 a.m.
“One time, I was here at 6:50. Then the bus came at 8:20,” Joshua said.
Bucheli said she walks her younger son to school, and when she comes back, if Joshua is still waiting, she takes an Uber with him.
“That’s $20. Twenty back, $20 back. That’s $40, and I can’t afford it,” Bucheli said.
Both parents said they have complained to their schools, the bus companies, and the Department of Education, with little response.
“They’re not doing nothing. It’s not fair for these kids,” Bucheli said.
“At least try to do something to get more buses on the road,” Samuels added.
CBS2 reached out to the DOE. Its Office of Pupil Transportation said this year it allow drivers to double up on routes, which gives vendors flexibility to provide more services. The DOE said issues have actually decreased, adding there were 60% fewer complaint calls in the first 20 days of this school year compared to 2019.
A spokesperson said they’re working to fix these specific cases.
The parents hope it will be resolved soon so their kids can get to school safe, and on time.
The DOE said families with any issues should call the Office of Pupil Transportation at 718-392-8855.