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Parents frustrated over school bus issues in Westchase

Posted at 5:39 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 06:51:37-05

WESTCHASE, Fla. — Parents say they are frustrated over school bus issues in Westchase. They claim their children's bus has showed up late several times over the last few months and on Monday it didn’t show up at all.

“The kids were sitting out here waiting and finally my son went home after about an hour," said John Carey, who is the father of a Davidsen Middle schooler.

Every morning at 8:45 a.m. bus 2133 is scheduled to arrive at the entrance of Woodbay in Westchase.

Carey says it took school officials until 10 a.m. to realize the bus never showed. They sent a backup bus but he says kids missed a good chunk of first and second period — plus, mid term exams.

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“It’s disruptive, when they come in to class, it’s disruptive to the kids that are already there,” he said, about kids coming into school late.

The Hillsborough County School District says a mix up with a substitute driver was the cause.

Text messages from another parent show the bus has been late for pick-up in the morning before — they’ve reached out to transportation but say they get no response.

The district says the bus has been on-time every day for the last two weeks.

“I just think they don’t have enough buses and I think they probably have a hard time keeping drivers on staff,” Carey said.

The district says that is part of the problem. They are looking to hire at least 50 drivers to fill routes. But, they say other factors cause problems at the end of the school day too.

Last Monday, school officials at Davidson had to change the dismissal because not enough buses were showing up on time. The district says it’s because they can’t get through all of the traffic on Montague.

District officials say they’ve reached out to the county to get the timing of the traffic signal at Montague and Linebaugh adjusted so traffic doesn’t build up and keep buses from getting in and out.

The district is asking anyone who may be interested in driving a school bus to please contact them so they can get this taken care of.