Transportation officials at Atlanta Public Schools seem to be working out the kinks of new bus routes that left some students stranded or on overcrowded buses on the first two days of school.
Some parents were upset Tuesday that buses still weren't showing up to take their children to school. Tuesday was the second day of school.
Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Keith Bromery said the number of calls to the district's transportation department went down significantly as compared to Monday.
"We had an overwhelming number of calls at transportation," Bromery said.
Some parents complained that school buses never showed up. Others complained of late or crowded buses.
Bromery said two things have contributed to most of the bus issues: the recent re-zoning of the district and the new enforcement of an old rule.
"If you live within one mile of your elementary school or within a mile-and-a-half of your middle of high school, you aren't afforded transportation," said Bromery.
The overcrowding, Bromery said, could be the result of drivers being instructed to pick up any students they saw waiting for buses during the first week of school in the interest of keeping them safe.
"Some of the kids were walking along the route, and the bus drivers were instructed to pick up any kids that they see who looked like they were waiting for an old bus stop along the route," Bromery said.
Parent Flor Santiago said she doesn't believe this transportation problem is new.
"There were times where the school bus didn't come, and no one called us to let us know if it was going to come or not," Santiago said to CBS Atlanta's Sonia Moghe in Spanish.
Santiago has a son with special needs who depends heavily on the bus because she cannot drive.
"On days when the bus doesn't come, they (her children) can't go to school because there is no other way to take them," Santiago said.
With many parents reporting difficulties getting through to the school district's transportation department, Bromery recommended that parents call their schools first to check on buses.
Robert Ross told CBS Atlanta News that his son, a special needs student, was not picked up at his home as scheduled on Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, a bus driver picked him up as scheduled.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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