Wake sees large drop in school bus issues

khui@newsobserver.comAugust 29, 2013 

Wake County school officials say that the number of people contacting the district about school buses has dropped in half since the start of the week as they’ve worked to resolve problems.

The school system received 1,060 telephone calls and online comments Wednesday – ranging from complaints about bus problems to questions about how to locate bus stops and bus schedules, according to Renee McCoy, a Wake schools spokeswoman. Wake had received 2,175 calls and comments on Monday – the first day of traditional-calendar schools – and 1,801 on Tuesday.

During the first few days last year, former Superintendent Tony Tata had said they received about 2,000 calls a day, noting that many callers were getting busy signals or messages that voice-mail boxes were full.

To try to avoid a repeat of the problems that marred the start of last school year, Wake took steps such as hiring more drivers, putting more buses on the road, putting GPS units on the buses and repeatedly testing the routes before school opened. Wake also established an automated phone system to take transportation calls and updated the transportation website to include information such as which buses are delayed.

McCoy said school staff have been moving quickly to resolve the complaints that have been received about problems such as late buses and buses missing stops. For instance, she said that transportation staff have responded to the complaints by visiting schools to survey the situation and suggest ways to improve service.

One of the complaints last year was that issues lingered well into the first month of school and, in some cases, much longer.

Hui: 919-829-4534

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