August 6, 2002 at 8:26 PM EST - Updated July 3 at 3:43 PM
LaidLaw is trying something new and it's much needed. Each year, it is inundated with calls from parents trying to figure out their children's bus routes. Now, there may be a simple solution.
School hasn't even started yet in Chatham County, but already, LaidLaw's phones are ringing. Most of the calls are from parents like Cathy Denny. And she admits she's made her fair share.
"I think it's a great idea that they can have that direct contact with a person," she told us.
That direct contact is because of a new hotline created by LaidLaw--no more automated systems. Now, a real live person will handle all calls. The main reason for the hotline is because sometimes there's confusion about the bus routes. In times past, if parents have questions, it wasn't easy for them to get answers.
"At the beginning of the year, there is a large amount of public inquiry about the bus routes," said Rufus Smith of LaidLaw.
That large amount is because there are nearly 300 bus routes and close to 25,000 students riding the buses. Laidlaw says for parents, the new hotline should be a welcome change from previous school years.
"It ought to put them at ease," said Smith. "If nothing else, it will give them someone they can call and physically talk to to find out what's going on about their bus."
The hotline will be in effect for six weeks. By then, LaidLaw hopes the initial bus route issues will be resolved.
For those who want to find out where and what time your child will be picked up, call LaidLaw at 201-2844 or follow the link below.
On Friday morning, parents can take their first-time bus riders on a trial trip. They'll be picked up at the bus stop, taken for a ride to the school, and then dropped off back at the bus stop. You can call LaidLaw for more information about that.
The hotline number will also appear on new bumper stickers, just below the bus numbers.