School Bus Routes In Kentucky Have Kids Arriving Home as Late as 10 P.M.

Yellow school bus on the road, USA | Adobe Stock
Yellow school bus on the road, USA | Adobe Stock

With kids going back to school, it can take a day or two to adjust to the new routine of waking up early, eating breakfast, and waiting for the school bus. But the largest school system in Kentucky is off to a rough start after it had to cancel the second and third day of classes after its restructured bus system left some kids still riding the bus as late as 10 p.m. before returning home.

If you think it was stressful for adults being stuck in traffic for seven hours due to some intense snow storms, imagine how it was like for a bunch of kids after their first day of school.

According to the Associated Press, Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Marty Pollio apologized to the families of 96,000 students, as well as bus drivers and school officials who had to stay with students on buses for hours before bringing them home, calling it a “transportation disaster.”

Low Supply of School Bus Drivers for Thousands of Students

District officials will be spending four days reviewing bus routes throughout the district and having drivers practice them before classes resume on Monday, August 14th.

In an effort to reduce the stress on the limited number of bus drivers, the district spent approximately $199,000 hiring the AlphaRoute engineering firm to generate more efficient routes with the least amount of stops.

Unfortunately, due to the driver shortage, the district was unable to keep up with the demands of its current school bus routes. Even after increasing pay and decreasing the number of routes per driver, there were simply not enough school bus drivers to pick up and drop off students on time.

Rough Walk to the Bus Stop

Many parents were concerned that many of the bus stops were too far for their children to walk to, or were located at very busy, and potentially dangerous intersections. Some elementary school students would be required to walk a half-mile from their home to their bus stop without any sidewalks.

However, Kentucky law says that bus stops for elementary students are allowed to be up to a half-mile from their homes, while middle and high school students would have to walk no more than one mile to the bus stop.

Either the school district will be able to assemble some more efficient bus routes for students and correct this mistake, or we may be in store for a retelling of how our grandparents would have to walk to school a mile uphill through the snow both ways.

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