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Overcrowded Buses

PRINCE EDWARD – It has been a little packed on some school buses at the start of the school year and adjustments are in the works.

“There were five buses out of 38 that had overcrowding problems and Mr. (Lylton) Crenshaw (supervisor of transportation) and his staff have worked through that and I just got an update from him this morning…and he said on all five buses they've put the changes into place that will eliminate that overcrowding,” Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith said Wednesday. “And they've done it by a combination of means.”

According to Dr. Smith, in some cases they've needed to assign students to a different bus that served their home area. Larger capacity buses were transferred to routes that had the worst overcrowding and smaller buses where the loads were a little lighter.

“But all five of those routes that he had identified, the last of the changes go into place at the end of this week that will resolve that,” Dr. Smith told The Herald. “So they've responded to it very quickly and made what I think are very appropriate changes so that we're not overcrowded on our buses.”

He conceded there may have been an isolated case or two where some had to stand on the bus while the adjustments were being made “and that's part of what they're working so hard to eliminate.”

Dr. Smith said they would not want students standing up in the aisle to ride the school bus.

“I know that that at the start of school it's occasionally unavoidable until the changes can be made to rebalance the loads across buses, but that's the problem that we're working hard to eliminate quickly,” he said.

Asked if there were a little bit of growing pains with the combined routes (Prince Edward in prior years had a separate bus route for elementary students), the superintendent said it is a little bit of it, but noted it's normal at the beginning of school for there to be some changes. He cited the example of families in new residences and children at different baby sitters or daycare providers than the previous year.

“So…there're changes like that that make it a little harder to predict at the opening of school every year and so every year this is a normal kind of adjustment that gets made,” he said.

Prince Edward opened schools August 16.