By Taylor Gencarelli
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Within the first week back at school, Baltimore County Public School students ride overcrowded buses that often are rerouted without notifying parents, the Board of Education was told Tuesday.
Lily Lee from the Northeast Area Education Advisory Council said school students often have to sit on each other’s laps, stand in the aisles or sit on the floor of the school bus. In addition, Lee said that the Transportation Department faces rerouting issues that result in buses picking up students late.
“The bus drivers are heartbroken and waiting for our top administrators to show care, and sympathy of their hard work,” Lee told board members. “They are the backbone of our Transportation Department. There is a bus driver shortage and our children have to sit on the floor and stand due to the overcrowding issues.”
Lee added, “The new rerouting software doesn’t work and has not been double checked by human eyes. Parents are running out of patience.”
Lee called on newly appointed Superintendent Darryl L. Williams to visit the “loving, caring and dedicated Northeast bus drivers.”
Board of Education members assured Lee and parents in the audience that they are pushing for more funding for transportation services and are committed to the safety of their children. They also announced a partnership with “industry experts” to assess student transportation in the Northeast area.
Chair Kathleen S. Causey said about 30,000 students are transported in Baltimore County each day. She said officials are doing everything they can to work on the safe and timely transportation of all students.
If parents have any questions or concerns, she directed them to contact the BCPS Office of Transportation.