SCCPSS addresses ongoing transportation problems

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 4:11 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It’s been one month since students in Savannah-Chatham returned to school and for some parents whose children ride the bus, their frustrations continue.

Students as young as kindergarten have been dropped off at the wrong stop.

“With any school opening, there are a few hiccups that we have to get over, but certainly I think we’ve recovered well,” said Tammy Perkins, the SCCPSS transportation lead director.

There have been several instances this school year where children have gotten on the wrong bus or gotten off at the wrong stop. The district’s transportation department says they’re doing their best to prevent issues.

“We do want to make sure that that is not an ongoing issues. We want to make sure that our drivers are learning their students, becoming familiar with their students and their particular stops, as well as the students gaining familiarity with their stops, so that everybody knows who’s supposed to get off where.”

Bus drivers gaining familiar with their students’ drop off location is a bit more of a challenge this year. Perkins says on a good day, they have 200 to 210 drivers to cover 215 routes so they often tap in substitute drivers.

“We do make sure we’re consistent, in most cases, on who’s covering, if there’s a particular route that is open, we’ll try and identify and individual who’ll be consistently covering that route, to kind of help with issues to make sure that everyone is aware and familiar with those students.”

With the bus driver shortage, there are also delays sometimes which Perkins says parents can stay on top of with the Here Comes the Bus app.

“It’s a perfect tool for parents to be able to track the bus, so when there are those times when the bus might be delayed, you can always go on, get real GPS of where the bus is to give you a better opportunity to plan and adjust your schedule.”

Perkins adds that several drivers will be released from the transportation department’s summer training program soon, and that she hopes that will help alleviate problems caused by the driver shortage though she doesn’t expect it to go away anytime soon.