The Main Stream

Aug 18, 2011 9:10 PM

Problems with bus routes in TUSD

TUCSON- Four days into the new year for Tucson Unified School District students, and there are problems with the school bus schedules and routes. Parents and staffers are posting about it on the News 4 Tucson Facebook page.

Colleen writes, "A blind, mentally handicapped boy was left at our school. The driver made us take him and he wasn't our student! We had to figure out where he went and get him there!"

Some parents say transportation wasn't even set up for their kids.

Robert Durand says, "I'm a former school bus driver, and I know how these things basically work, and that's just totally unacceptable."

Durand says the bus schedule he picked up at Doolen Middle school said the bus stop was at Kleindale and Kelvin which is where his daughter and about a dozen children picked up the bus last year. Only this year, the bus never came.

"I was really upset, because it's a safety issue you - have all these students standing on the street corner," he says.

Durand says it's a good thing he stuck around and called the school district. Finally, a van picked up the students. They were all 45 minutes late to class. He was told the schedule he had didn't exist.

It's not just the parents who are complaining about the bus routes. News 4 spoke with some of the bus drivers who declined to go on camera. They say the new system is awful. One driver says her route had her going through alleys and the desert.

Jim Burns, a TUSD official, admits there are problems.

"Our service was not satisfactory at the start of the school year. There's no doubt about that. But we're improving every day and we're getting much better in the future as we implement new systems that will help us route students to their school."

In the meantime, officials are wanting parents to go to the website and click on the yellow bus to find out the latest bus routes. Head to: www.tusd.k12.az.us

TUSD gave us a new number if you any questions: 225-4800. News 4 tried calling it a few times, but all circuits were busy.

A reminder you can always join the conversation on this by logging on to our Facebook page.

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