Parents frustrated with school bus service

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. — After days of school bus route dry runs, some parents said they are still unsatisfied with First Student Bus service.

School just started last week in McLean County and some parents already have concerns.

Kamishia Thompson-Jeffress has a child who has either been picked up late or not picked up at all for school.

“It’s very frustrating, first of all, worrying about my son’s safety, worrying about if he’s going to get to school on time,” Jeffress said.

After she leaves for work she has received calls from her son saying he was never picked up.

“If he didn’t have a cellphone there would be no way for me to know that he didn’t get picked up unless the school had called me then I’m wondering, why isn’t my son at school,” Jeffress said.

Jeffress’s son, Syncere Abdullah, said he’s afraid it will affect his performance in school.

“I’m gonna get like a messed-up grade in gym since like that’s my first hour if I don’t show up on time that’s going to mess up my grade, Syncere Abdullah said.

Chris Coyle, area general manager of First Student Bus, said they have about 13,000 students and asks parents to be patient with them while they are working to improve the system.

“With the influx at the same time as having new routes and new drivers, they have to learn that and the timing, it takes a little while to get that fixed up,” Chris Coyle said.

The team at first student bus say they always want to get better and plan to improve communication.

“I just think you need to trust the system, I think we’re trying to do the best job we can and again like everything. I just think we need to be passionate I think we’re making progress,” Joe Addlman, executive director of operations at First Student Bus said.

First Student Bus will make software available for parents called “My stop”. This allows parents to see real-data of their students bus location.

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