Wake County Schools

Wake adds school buses to routes Tuesday

Posted September 4, 2012

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— More school buses hit the road in Wake County on Tuesday in an attempt by the school district to answer parent complaints about long delays, long rides and no-show buses that plagued the first week of school for students on a traditional calendar. 

Complaints have poured into the school district's offices since classes started Aug. 27. middle school, school bus Bus tips for traditional-calendar parents

After initial complaints, the district added four buses to its routes on Tuesday and another seven on Friday. By Tuesday, a total of 915 buses were serving Wake County schools, according to a statement from district Director of Public Relations Mike Charbonneau.

"Drivers of the new or altered routes practiced the runs over the weekend to be prepared for Tuesday," Charbonneau said.

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 maintain a balance of spending on buses and drivers – a formula that compares different districts across North Carolina determines efficiency – to keep millions of dollars in state funding.

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

"The state formula for the efficiency rating is wrong," Wake County school board member John Tedesco said. "It does not serve districts well."

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

Watch Tuesday's work session, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., and full board meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m., live on WRAL.com. Wake school buses Wake schools adding more buses Tuesday

Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday 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.”

83 Comments

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  • mclhauser Sep 6, 2012

    My kids ride a Wake County bus with 36 stops and they usual get home around 5:00 p.m. in the evening. Their school is only 3 miles away from our home. My kids are usually one of the first 5 stops in the morning to get picked up by the bus and one of the last 5 stops in the evening to be dropped off. My kids spend between 60 to 90 minutes a day riding the bus while other students that ride the same bus spend 5 to 10 minutes a day. Why? It doesn't seem fair to me or my kids. Shouldn't it be first on in the morning, first off in the afternoon? Why does my kids' bus route have the most stops of any school in Wake County? I have heard about things being done for schools on the traditional calendar, but what about year round schools? We have been dealing with this since July!

  • iron fist Sep 4, 2012

    Common sense tells you more students along with choice requires more buses not less

  • dev8me Sep 4, 2012

    Adding more buses is no reason to not return calls and emails. What kind of customer service is this ? Has it been also offshored ????

  • due_whats_right Sep 4, 2012

    NOW, everybody is against school choice! We didn't hear that before or otherwise we would have the nightmare we have had since 8/27. As the ad stated years ago, "You asked for it, you got it, Toyota!" Gotta take the good with the bad.

  • Screw WrAl Sep 4, 2012

    All schools should be year round. No choice, no 5 different schedules, no mess. This school board is poised to be able to make that happen and if they can't pass their bond request next year then my bet is they will make all schools, including highs, year round.

    I'm afraid they are now going to have to layoff ta's and teachers because they have put all the buses back on the roads. Oh what a mess Wake schools have become.

  • JayBird Sep 4, 2012

    from wakemom - "instead of them adding a stop in my neighborhood as requested, they gave us another bus in the subdivision. we dont need another bus! we just wanted an additional stop to be added!!"
    LOL! I swear they need parents working in the transportation office, or at least people who live in the neighborhoods. My 12 year old could do a better job.

  • wakemom Sep 4, 2012

    instead of them adding a stop in my neighborhood as requested, they gave us another bus in the subdivision. we dont need another bus! we just wanted an additional stop to be added!!

  • ApexisBest Sep 4, 2012

    JayBird, it showed, but time was 8:11, and they get called to homeroom from cafeteria at that time! Did anyone even think to ask what time each school starts?

  • JayBird Sep 4, 2012

    ApexisBest, did your AMS bus even show up this morning? Ours showed up around the same time every day last week. It was way overcrowded the first day, but then parents heard how bad it was and started carpooling. So today, after the rework over the weekend, we have no bus. The savings is coming by making the busing so bad that everyone drives to school. Now they will have to give more money to Apex Police Dept because they are having to direct traffic for carpool line every day. That's new too!

  • ApexisBest Sep 4, 2012

    BTW, I do agree that choices are ridiculous. Maybe each family has 2 choices- their local year round or local traditional. Not 5 different options for elementary schools that we try and provide busses for.

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