PERRY HALL, MD—Board of Education member Julie Henn on Wednesday provided an update on school bus delays that continue to affect the families of BCPS students in northeastern Baltimore County.
“I am sharing this information provided to a parent by the BCPS Office of Transportation – not as an excuse, but to provide information to help those understand why buses run late,” Henn said on Wednesday morning. “The Board and I continue to press for all available resources to address the need for reliable student transportation and for new solutions that are long overdue. I am as exasperated over the delays as the community.”
The statement from the BCPS Office of Transportation reads as follows:
(We) understand and empathize with your frustration regarding school bus service. Our staff is doing the best they can to safely transport all eligible riders to and from school every day.
The bus facilities which provide service to the Perry Hall area have 26 driver vacancies. In March, the average daily call outs and leaves for these lots totaled 26 bus drivers, too. Call outs and leaves increased in April and are increasing so far in May. On average, 52 routes (35%) in the Northeast Area require coverage each day. Some NE routes have not had an assigned driver for months. Please note, the typical route consists of a high school, middle school, and an elementary trip. I share these data with you not an as an excuse, but so that you understand why our buses are late.
BCPS has chosen to provide transportation service late, instead of outright cancelling service, as some other local municipalities have done this school year.
BCPS’ hardworking bus drivers and bus attendants are doubling trips, doubling back, tripling back, etc. in order to safely transport students to and from school, which results in students late to school and at times, service extending past 6 PM on a regular school day so that we can provide service to all eligible riders. Unfortunately this means that some delays are at least 90 minutes to 120 minutes. This is not the type of service we strive to provide, but unfortunately this is our current operational paradigm.
[Photo via Pixabay]