DENVER — The first week of school can be exciting for students, but for parents in the Central Park neighborhood, it’s been nerve-racking as buses arrive late or fail to pick up their kids.
Kendall Hunter’s 12-year-old son, Alex Hunter, attends Morey Middle school, which is about 20 minutes away from his assigned bus stop. On Wednesday, the bus driver dropped off his son about three miles from his bus stop. On Thursday, he was dropped off at the wrong location nearly an hour past his scheduled drop-off time.
Alex Hunter used his phone to share his location and keep his dad updated on Thursday. He said he was nervous the last couple of days while riding the bus.
“Yeah, this bus system just kind of sucks... has been sucky for the last couple of days,” Alex Hunter said.
Several Morey Middle School students are scheduled to be picked up and dropped off near a park located on 28th Avenue and Emporia Court in the Central Park neighborhood.
Monica Minkel said her son and other students waited 45 minutes for the bus Thursday morning before another parent stepped in and drove the kids to school.
Minkel reached out to the school Monday and said other parents followed with complaints. It wasn’t until they reached out to Denver7 four days later that they received an email from the school district informing them that the bus stop was eliminated.
“As of right now, the DPS parent portal says this is still our stop,” Minkel said.
According to the DPS Transportation Service, routes were updated on the parent portal system two weeks ago, but due to technical issues they were never reflected.
“Transportation Services is working with the DPS Department of Technology Services to resolve the issue with the portal,” the DPS statement said.
Parents say they understand the school is doing their best to iron out transportation issues but stressed the importance of communication and consistency.
In a statement, the school district stated the transportation service is conducting a safety study that will help them determine if they should move bus stops, keep them or eliminate stops. It also acknowledged that buses are running late and pointed to a severe driver shortage. DPS has 50 bus driver positions open.
“If you can drive a school bus, please go drive for DPS because they need you,” Minkel said.
A spokesperson from the school district apologized and said they are doing their best to get kids to and from school safely.