Wake County Schools

Wake to put more school buses on road to ease delays

Posted August 31, 2012

— To alleviate long delays with school buses that have irked parents this week, the Wake County Public School System said Friday that an extra 27 school buses would be on the road by next Tuesday.

Complaints have poured into the school district's offices since traditional-calendar schools started classes on Monday about buses getting students to school late and not bringing them home for hours after classes have dismissed – and some that never showed up at their assigned stops.

More than 900 Wake County school buses transport 75,000 to 80,000 students per day and make about 25,000 stops. The district took dozens of buses out of service this year to cut costs while maintaining efficiency.

The district must keep a level of efficiency – a formula that compares different districts across North Carolina determines efficiency – to keep millions of dollars in state funding.

Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday, however, that more buses are needed to ensure students are taken to school and returned home in a timely manner.

“There are no excuses for what happened, and we are committed to fixing the problem,” Tata said in a statement. “If we determine more buses are needed, we will continue to add them until the issue is resolved.”

The school district added four buses to its routes on Tuesday and another seven on Friday. Sixteen more buses will be on the roads Tuesday morning, officials said.

School principals were expected to communicate Friday with parents of students affected by changes to bus routes and schedules. The new bus routes also will be posted on the school district's website.

Each extra bus costs the school district $70,000, district spokesman Mike Charbonneau said. The district also could lose about $3.5 million in state efficiency funds because of the additional buses, he said.

The Wake County Board of Education plans to discuss the bus situation at its meeting next week, and officials said the board also will look at the related funding issues.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Aug 31, 2012


    LOL! Good! :-)


  • westernwake1 Aug 31, 2012

    "Here is where WCPSS could save a whole heap of money" - wa4mjf

    Yet you fail to cite all the other state and federal laws related to bussing. And even fail to understand the context of this citation which involves cities and towns (not school systems) being forced to pay for student transport. This law was enacted to prevent town and city governments being forced to pay for public busses & trains in particular for pupils who live in the town limits.

  • fishbowl Aug 31, 2012

    I thought the whole reason the kid's school schedule was turned upside down was to save money and pull buses off. Duh it didn't work. This is why so many parents were fighting you Mr. Tata. Way to go...

  • RonnieR Aug 31, 2012

    NCGS 115C-246
    (e) No provision of this Article shall be construed to place upon the State, or upon any county or city, any duty to supply any funds for the transportation of pupils, or any duty to supply funds for the transportation of pupils who live within the corporate limits of the city or town in which is located the public school in which such pupil is enrolled or to which such pupil is assigned, even though transportation to or from such school is furnished to pupils who live outside the limits of such city or town.

    Here is where WCPSS could save a whole heap of money.

  • Obamacare is back again Aug 31, 2012

    Beth, I was only kidding.

    Your comment made me laugh. :)

  • Southern Girl Aug 31, 2012

    Just one question, please. Do you have QUALIFIED drivers in place to drive 25 more buses on the spot? I sure do hope so. The children deserve the best when they are put on a bus to fend for themselves, especially the little ones. Safety is the #1 priority, starting with the driver.

  • westernwake1 Aug 31, 2012

    "Let the people who HAVE kids, pay for the dang busses!" - Strawberry Letter 23

    So you want to violate federal law?

  • westernwake1 Aug 31, 2012

    "ineverpass, GENIUS! I have felt that way, all along! We have busses picking up kids a few YARDS apart! AND, they stop a total of 4 times within A QUARTER OF A MILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - Strawberry Letter 23

    This is to comply with federal and state law which dictates that a child must be picked up via school bus within XXX feet of their residence. If you don't like the law then talk to your state and federal legislators to allow more flexibility in regards to how far a bus stop can be from a home.

  • westernwake1 Aug 31, 2012

    "dazed n confused....you should stop babying your child and make him/her walk to school since you live within a mile." - flashyswife

    There are federal and state laws regarding the need for crossing guards on main roads before children can be expected to walk to school. Due to the layout of the Triangle there are many main roads within one mile of schools. The Wake school system would have to place over 500 crossing guards at these intersections at start & dismisal times before requiring children within 1 mile to walk to schools.

  • Think_About_This Aug 31, 2012

    I find it quite funny that within a week of traditional classes starting, the bus situation is being addressed. Year round students have been dealing with the same bus issues since July 9th including almost 2 hr bus rides home in the afternoon and elementary kids on the bus for way too long in the morning. WCPSS, I would love for you to show my children in YR the same attention as you're showing traditional students.