Indiana Daily Student

MCCSC bus shortages cause frustration, uncertainty among families

<p>A sign for the Monroe County Community School Corporation Administration Office is seen Sept. 2, 2021, during the afternoon dismissal at Bloomington South High School. The Monroe County Community School Corporation is struggling to supply students with consistent bus routes, Erika Lee, parent of a MCCSC student and an IU professor, said.</p>

A sign for the Monroe County Community School Corporation Administration Office is seen Sept. 2, 2021, during the afternoon dismissal at Bloomington South High School. The Monroe County Community School Corporation is struggling to supply students with consistent bus routes, Erika Lee, parent of a MCCSC student and an IU professor, said.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation is having trouble supplying students with consistent bus routes, which has sometimes caused them to arrive late to school, some parents said. 

Erika Lee, parent of a MCCSC student and an IU professor, said her son’s bus does not have a steady arrival time, sometimes arriving early and other times after school has started. 

“One day it will show up at 8:20 a.m. and the other day it will show up at 9:10 am,” Lee said.

Contacting the transportation department is difficult due to the office being understaffed and having to manage the shortage of bus drivers in their department, Lee said. She said this could also be a result of more children being on the bus compared to last year. 

The MCCSC Transportation department did not respond to the request for comment from the Indiana Daily Student regarding the bus shortages situation. 

Lee said she thinks the shortage of buses has correlated to more parents picking up their children, which means parents are spending a big part of their afternoons in the car line waiting for their children to come out. 

“You can’t plan your day around not knowing what is going to happen and not knowing where your child is, '' Lee said. 

Lee said she feels this is a failure of the school system at large due to the fact it is not supporting working parents. She said these parents, in particular, put a great deal of trust into the transportation system to get their children to and from school safely.

Lee said some parents she knows have tracked the location of their child’s bus and picked them up along the route because they feel they could be waiting for even longer. 

Beth Buggenhagen, mother of two MCCSC students and an IU professor, said one of her daughters did not get home until 6:50 pm one night because of the bus shortage. 

After this incident occurred, Buggenhagen said she talked to her daughter’s vice principal and they came to an agreement that her daughter could text her to come pick her up if she was still at school past 4:15 pm. She said she has not had to pick her up since the situation occurred. 

“I am extremely frustrated with MCCSC transportation because they are not providing enough information,” Buggenhagen said. “I should be able to call and find out where my child’s bus is located.”

Buggenhagen said the answer the MCCSC transportation department gave to her daughter’s problem was having her ride a different bus, but it would only be a short term solution.

Buggenhagen said the bus drivers have been super helpful in providing information to parents along the routes while emphasizing that children should be getting home at a reasonable time. 

“They are really helpful for what my expectations should be, and how to plan and I feel like my child is safe,” said Buggenhagen. 

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