Henrico parents upset over school buses arriving late to school

Posted at 12:47 AM, Oct 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-03 14:51:33-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) –A growing number of parents in Henrico County say that school buses are arriving late.

“I have to be at work by 8:00 a.m.,” Chris Tinsley said. “I can’t show up 'whenever' because the bus is late,” Tinsley said.

He said he’s been late repeatedly because his daughter Alicen’s school bus doesn’t arrive on time. It’s supposed to arrive at 7:40 in the morning.

“Like this morning and four mornings in a row, it`s been between 7:45 and 7:50 before the bus shows up,” Tinsley said.

He said that last week the school bus didn’t even show up.

Tinsley is part of a growing number of parents in the Henrico County public school Tuckahoe school district  who say that school buses are arriving late and that it’s causing him and other parents in the neighborhood to be in a mad panic rush first thing in the morning.

Ed Buzzelli, Assistant Superintendent of Operations at Henrico County schools said they’re working to fix the problem.

Buzelli said for the first time, the school system has split the elementary schools into two different start times. As a result, they’ve redone all of their bus routes.

“We really need to improve it so we can gain people in that community`s confidence back,” he said.

Buzzelli said they're also in need of additional staffing, particularly substitute drivers.

“We probably need 30 more substitute drivers to have an adequate bench,” he said, which explains the various bus drivers Tinsley has seen picking up their daughter for school.

Bus drivers are also frustrated by the new plan. One bus driver who did not want to be identified said she has to pick up students and take them to two schools, as opposed to last year where she’d take them to one school.

Buzelli said the school has set up two meetings this week; one with parents, and the other with school bus drivers in an attempt to fix the problem.

The parent forum is set-up for Wednesday, October 3, 2012 from 5:30 – 7:00PM at Tuckahoe Middle School.

The meeting with area drivers is set-up for Thursday, October 5, 2012 from 5:30 – 630PM at Byrd Middle School.

 Buzelli encourages all parents to post their concerns on the school’s website. We’ve added a link: