Edmond Public Schools address school bus delays, overcrowding

EDMOND Okla. - Crowded and delayed school buses - those are some of the concerns facing parents in Edmond. Some have taken to social media to discuss it, and now we're hearing from Edmond Public Schools.

“This actually isn't an issue of overcrowding but rather of student management,” said Susan Parks- Schlepp.

A video is making the rounds on social media; the post said "This bus is taking kids home from Cheyenne Middle School. Kids along with my little brother are having to stand up while the bus is motion."

In the comments, it said there are typically four students to a seat - some even seating in the aisle.

The person who made the post didn't want to go on camera, but district officials said the  issue shouldn't be happening.

“This bus actually has the capability to seat 77 students and, on any given day, there are about 50 to 55 students who take this bus,” Parks-Schlepp said.

Edmond Public Schools said the bus had more than enough seats and staff have talked to the driver about moving the bus while students are standing.

However, right now, overcrowded buses are not the district's biggest transportation problem.

“We definitely have a shortage of drivers - and what that has led to is late drop off times, late pickups,” Parks-Schlepp said.

Parks-Schlepp said they've gotten a lot of calls about bus times.

Many parents have received text alerts and Facebook notifications alerting them a bus would be dropping off students late. The delays are anywhere from 10 to 15 - and even 30 minutes.

“We have a significant driver shortage. Right now, we're down about 17 drivers - and that's just from the start of the year,” Parks-Schlepp said.

So, in order to be more efficient, the district was forced to cut the number of routes.

The district, of course, is hiring drivers. They also said the bus driver shortage isn't a local problem. It's an issue school districts nationwide are facing.