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First Student says bus delays are normal when school starts

Some Unit 5 parents took to social media this week to voice their concerns regarding the long wait times they say their children have experienced at the bus stop.

“First day [of school] I think the bus came maybe 30 minutes late. Monday I don’t know honestly if it even showed up my sister took him to school that day. Tuesday the bus was maybe and hour late. Wednesday he didn’t even go to school because they were to supposed to send a bus for him but it never showed up,” Bloomington resident Kamishia Thompson said.

Thompson said she gave her middle schooler a ride to school one of the days but not before reaching out the First Student, the bus company that provides transportation to the district.

“Out of the days [my son] went this week that I didn’t take him maybe two days this week I spent maybe 45 mins of my time on the phone with the bus station and it’s frustrating. His bus stop is right here on the corner, my house it right here, so there is no way he can miss it. He comes out when I leave,” she said.

First Student Area General Manager Chris Coyle claims delays like this are normal for the beginning of the school year.

“We really don’t stabilize in transportation until the normal operating capacity until after labor day,” Coyle explained.

Parents on social media questioned whether or not the drivers practiced their routes before the school year kicks off.

“While you can train and test those routes before we start school the challenge is we get an added influx of college students, So you have about 18,000 students that are in there so it creates some delays,” Coyle said.

For Thompson, the most important thing is that these issues get resolved so her son can be at school every day and on time.

“Any day that he missed or was late they excused him but he’s missed the first hour, school started a week ago and he’s only been one day and that was the day that I took him,” Thompson said.

Stephanie Rodriguez

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