LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – Las Cruces Public School students are being dropped off by buses over an hour late, and one parent says a bus never showed up for the first day of school.
“The first day of school the bus did not even come for the pick up late drop-offs,” said a Las Cruces Public School Parent who did not want to be named.
While KTSM 9 News was speaking with the parent, she got an alert on her phone saying her child wouldn’t be picked up from school until 5 p.m. by the bus, when he was supposed to be home around 4:20.
The parent explained that this is not the first time something like this has happened.
“Last Friday we received a message that he was going to leave the school, that the bus would be there at 4:45 p.m. which is still very late for a pick up from the school to come home, and didn’t get home until 5:45 which is only a 20-minute bus ride so in the process were waiting and waiting for an hour at the bus stop, can not locate our child,” the woman said.
Another parent said she had the same experience with her three children, including one who has special needs.
“The other day was over an hour that we had to wait, and we were concerned about what had happened and what was going on you know it was pretty scary what happened,” said Donna Kulpa who has three children that ride buses home from Las Cruces Public Schools.
A Spokesperson for Las Cruces Public Schools told KTSM 9 News that the district deals with issues at the start of every school year. However, this year it was worse due to a few reasons including the contracted bus company STS not having enough drivers.
“Their (the contracted company) main concern when we met with them today is if we just had more drivers this wouldn’t be an issue I know that they have been working over the summer to maintain a level of drivers that they need to run all routes efficiently and that is a sour spot in keeping our buses running is the inadequate number of drivers,” said Kelly Jameson a Spokes Person for LCPS.
In addition to the lack of bus drivers, Jameson also says other factors include registers finishing registration for students and parents whose addresses changed over the summer.
As we reported LCPS students returned to school last week as the district adapts a balanced calendar that makes it so students have longer breaks throughout the year.
“We have heard from parents that their students aren’t getting to school on time, that their bus schedules are running an hour over and hour behind in the afternoons, that’s not acceptable to the district and we are trying to work to resolve those situations as quickly as possible.”
KTSM 9 News reached out to STS the contracted bus company and were told that a statement was being worked on about the issues but we have yet to receive it.