How long is too long to ride a school bus?


POSTED: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - 11:18pm

As school is about to get underway again in Zachary, several parents want to know why their children could spend hours on the bus every day.

"You know, with six kids, three of them who are under one years old, it's great to be able to depend on the bus," Mikki Bertrand, mother, said.

Bertrand's three oldest kids ride the bus to and from school every day. But she says sometimes that ride can last for over an hour.

“So from 7:15 to 8:30 that's just incredibly too long on the bus," said Bertrand. "It’s not just them getting home late, it’s delaying other things, too, which frustrates other people. It's this whole change of events of frustration."

And although Bertrand says she loves the bus drivers and the convenience of the bus, she says on days the bus comes early it messes up her family’s entire schedule.

"That's another level of frustration – ‘Claire, your bus is coming you're going to miss your bus,’ and that just flusters her and you start of your day frustrated.”
A spokesman for the Zachary Community School District says the school system's goal is to get kids on and off the bus in no more than an hour.

In the beginning  of the school year First Student Inc., the company contracted to run school buses in Zachary, issues a card telling parent's estimates of when their child will be picked up and dropped off.

A spokesman for that company says if the route time seams a bit long there's a reason. The company uses a GPS tracking device to monitor all the stops a bus need to make and than calculates a route based on an average speed along the route time and it might be slower than you'd expect.

"I don't like being on the bus for along time because I get bored," Claire Bertrand said.

The Bertrand family plans to continue using the bus system but bank on being on the bus a little longer than desired.

A spokesman with First Student Inc. says they will re-evaluate routes and their times once kids get back on the buses and into the classroom.

Parents in Zachary with questions can call First Student Inc. at (225) 654-9729.






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