Columbia County parents raise concern about crowded buses
EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A video appears to show an overcrowded Columbia County school bus sent to us by concerned parents.
One parent sent us the response from the school district saying they are working to level bus loads as quickly as possible. They say it’s a challenging process, and hopefully, there will be daily improvements.
Parents we spoke with off camera say this is a big issue because kids are standing up on a moving overcrowded bus.
The director of transportation for Columbia County schools wants to assure parents safety is at the top of his list and that their concerns are being addressed.
“We are in a growing county. Every year when we start school, we look for buses that could be crowded on the first day or the second day. We have a protocol in place for our transportation. We look at the numbers that are coming from the schools of the students riding our buses,” said Director of Transportation Allen Connor.
Some parents see this as a safety hazard. Connor says it is normal to have three kids in a seat. The max capacity on one bus is 66 kids.
“Some of the high school students are uncomfortable seating three to a seat, but until we get the changes made and switch some students from the buses that could be capacity or over, we’re asking our students to please ride safely three to a seat. We have a protocol in place with our schools and our drivers to not let the bus leave the school if students are standing. Please call dispatch, and we will give direction on what to do with the students,” he said.
Connor says safety is his number one priority, and changes are coming.
The director also says he’s asked parents to be patient and if they have any concerns to contact the school board directly or attend the school board meetings.
“The bus is an extremely safe way to get children to and from school. We are allowed through the state that we can have an overcapacity of 66 at 10 percent, but in Columbia County, our best practice is to have no students standing,” said Connor.
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