Back to School: Hillsborough Schools works on plan to better bus service for students

In less than five days, children will be heading back to school.
 
But some parents are worried about trusting their kids to the bus. 
 
Last year, parents complained about poor maintenance and drivers that were either late or missed their kids. 
 
With 90,000 kids riding the bus, one of the biggest concerns for parents is whether the bus will show up on time. 
 
“I don't trust buses,” said Tampa Bay Elementary parent Estefanny Hernandez. 
 
Hernandez won’t even consider letting her first grader ride the bus. 
 
“Maybe he won't follow the line he is supposed to be in. The bus leaves and he is in the middle of nowhere,” said Hernandez. 
 
Neither will Clerence Nathan. 
 
“We feel she would be better served if we drove her to school,” said Nathan. 
 
The Hillsborough County School District admits it still needs to make improvements, including the maintenance of run down buses. 
 
“I have to give you a warning. Under the best of circumstances, the first week of school we are going to have some blips. You are going to call me and I am going to tell you we will have some buses running late,” said spokesperson Steve Hegarty.
 
The good news is that district is now using GPS to track each bus.  It will be able to locate any bus at any time. 
 
“Very often we can say it looks like its four blocks away,” said Hegarty.
 
But still, it’s not enough to convince Hernandez. 
 
“I would never put him on the bus,” said Hernandez. 
 
The district bought 100 new buses and in a few months, it hopes to replace the old ones. 
 
If you have a concern before or during school in Hillsborough County, you can reach out to the call center at 813-982-5500.  
 
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