Wake adds more school buses to Apex

khui@newsobserver.comSeptember 7, 2012 

Concerned parent Eric Fagerstrom, of Apex, huddles with his son Zachary, 6, before taking his turn to address the Wake County School Board members on Tuesday, September 4, 2012. Zachary, who goes to Apex Elementary School, had to wait for an hour after school for his bus to take him on on Tuesday, as well as being late going to and reterning from school on other days.

COREY LOWENSTEIN — clowenst@newsobserver.com

Wake County school officials announced Thursday that they are adding six more buses to the Apex transportation area, where parents have been vocal about bus problems this school year.

School officials said that buses will be added to Turner Creek Elementary School in Cary and five Apex schools: Apex, Baucom, Laurel Park and Salem elementary schools and Apex Middle School. New buses and stops will become effective Friday afternoon.

“The new additions reflect our ongoing commitment to make this situation right for our families as quickly as possible,” said Superintendent Tony Tata in a written statement. “We will continue taking all steps necessary to fix the problems.”

The announcement means that Wake will have brought back on the road 40 of the 52 buses that had been removed from service this school year to save money. Thirteen of the buses that have been brought back are in the Apex transportation district.

The removal of the buses had resulted in the 881 buses on the road at the start of the school year running longer routes with more students. School administrators admitted this week that they had been so focused on efficiency that they developed new routes that underestimated how long it would take for the buses to pick up students and travel the routes.

Since the start of the traditional-calendar school year last week, parents have complained about buses coming late or not all. The complaints had been particularly vocal in Apex, where school officials had combined routes so that several schools shared the same buses.

Even after Wake had put seven more buses in service this week, school officials said two-thirds of the complaints they got Tuesday were from Apex.

Hui: 919-829-4534

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