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Bus driver, parent: APS school buses overcrowded, students sitting on floor

Updated: 09/01/2014 10:16 PM | Created: 09/01/2014 4:39 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Reporter's Notebook: Not much has changed for school buses through the decades.  They are still bright yellow, clunky vehicles that crisscross our cities making sure our kids get to and from school.  When our kids get on the bus, we, as parents, trust that everyone who is in charge of the bus - from the driver on up - takes safety seriously. 

Last week, I spoke with an Albuquerque Public Schools parent irate that his 6th-grade son was sitting on the floor of the bus because of overcrowding issues.  When he talked to the bus driver, the driver confirmed that it is, in fact, happening.

Both driver and parent wanted to get the message out there that APS school buses are overcrowded, and kids are forced to sit on the floor or on each other.  They both worry about the safety of all the kids who depend on this transportation every day. 

Part of the current overcrowding problem stems from an issue that began before the school year.  As most parents know, APS does not operate the bus system.  Instead, the district contracts out school bus transportation to several companies around the city.  One of the contractors folded, forcing all of the others to pick up the slack…and pick up the students.  APS officials say they are very aware of the problem and are working to address the issue. 

What parents can do: Parents, you can help speed up the solution.  Arm your child with a camera and have your child document what is happening on his or her school bus.  Take video and photos of any overcrowding issues.  Send what you find to me at cramirez@kob.com.  Once I gather evidence that confirms what the parent and bus driver have told me, I can present that to APS leaders and hold them accountable by ensuring change happens.  Let's work together to create a positive outcome. 


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