School bus riders hit the road in neighborhoods without sidewalks | News
(WMC-TV) - Some Mid-South children walking to the bus stop live in neighborhoods without sidewalks. This used to be a nonissue in one Bartlett community when the bus would pick up students in front of their home, but this year the stops changed.
Five-year-old Emma Yarbrough joins her seven-year-old brother at Bon Lin Elementary this school year.
"For the last two years they picked my son, which is now in second grade, right up at the house because it was too dangerous," said their mother, Carrie Yarbrough.
She says the process was simple and safe.
"We have no sidewalks. So the bus drives by ... [It] would stop, put the stop sign out, cross the street, [my son] gets off the bus, and it worked out perfect," she said.
This year something changed at the department of transportation. Her kids are now being asked to walk down the street to get to the bus.
"It's about there blocks, but there's no side walks, and this is a fairly busy cut through street," said Yarbrough.
Yarbrough has done everything she can think of to try and clear up the issue.
"I've talked to the bus driver. I've talked to the school, but the school can't even get a hold of the transportation," she said admitting that Wednesday she followed the bus route and found other kids being dropped off in front of their home.
"Went to the board yesterday and spoke to someone and they said even though someone down the street, the kids got picked up by the bus that they would have to come out here and review it," she said.
The district says this year they have a new Parent Responsibility Zone and have increased distances between bus stops to reduce the number of routes district wide.
In a letter to parents, the department of transportation said they will review parents' concerns but will continue to do what they can to "preserve dollars for the classroom."
Yarbrough says her kids are not riding the bus until this issue in cleared up.
"In the meantime, I'm going to pick them up in car lines because I dont feel safe putting them on the bus," she said.
Department of transportation is also aware of several delay issues. In that same letter to parents, they cited three bell schedules instead of two. They also asked parents to be patient and let time cure some of the delays.
The most serious delay issues have involved students boarding the wrong buses.
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