A hour and a half bus ride and not enough seats and kids walking a mile to the bus stop. They’re all problems the Lincoln County School system is trying to iron out this first year of consolidation. Parents vented their concerns about the bus route issues at the Lincoln County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.
Ever since Harts, Duvall, Hamlin and Guyan Valley High Schools consolidated this year, the big concern with parents is the bus routes and how long it will take their kids to get home. We heard from parents and students about a problem they hope the county will quickly resolve.
It's takes more than a hour for these Lincoln County High students to get home. They even have to switch buses to make sure they all get a seat.
Parents told Lincoln County Board of Education members how they felt about the longer bus routes and cutting out some bus runs is forcing kids to walk almost a mile up a hollow to their home. The concern here is safety.
Amber Cyfer wiped tears away during the meeting. She has a one mile walk after getting off the bus.
Cyfers said, “Walking up that hollow frightened me.”
George Scarberry comments, “All of us have girls. Next thing you know something nasty will happen.”
The county's transportation director says he's working on getting students as close to their homes as possible and still get them home in a timely manner. There are 48 different bus routes in Lincoln County and each one has three to five different hollows extending from it and it could take 15 minutes to drive up a hollow if you're bussing small children.
Dr. Anne Seaver, “We know we have problems, but everyday we've alleviated the crowding. All children will have seats on buses.
As for the amount of time kids have to be on a bus, board members say their hands are tied.
Carol Smith, “Not anything we can do about the time. We knew that when we were forced into consolidation.”
Dr. Seaver says the board contacted the Transit Authority to see if they could run routes to help shorten the rides for students, but according to state law that's prohibited.