School year begins with bus route havoc for some Rio Rancho students
August 10, 2018 11:10 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Back to school worries aren’t reserved solely for students. The change can hit parents too.
And when you see your kid off to the bus stop in the morning, you expect the driver to get them to their classes.
But for some Rio Rancho students, this school year has gotten off to a rocky start.
Seventh-grader Mariano Medrano said he expected to hear the sound of the school bus's rumbling engine and squeaking brakes coming through his neighborhood of Loma Colorado in Rio Rancho. But the bus never came Thursday to take him to his first day of classes at Eagle Ridge Middle School.
He says he waited about 20 minutes before his dad, Michael Medrano, took him.
“It’s a concern because, if I’m not there, if no other parents are there, the kids need to figure out what they need to do,” Medrano said.
Bode Victor also attends Eagle Ridge Middle School. He said he got on the bus Friday, but never made it to his first class.
“I was on the bus and I got dropped off at a random bus stop because the bus was overflowing,” Bode said.
He says his driver told him the bus was too crowded and another bus would pick him up, along with a couple others, in five minutes. But Bode said 30 minutes later they were still standing on the side of the road waiting.
Bode ended up walking home.
The spokesperson for the Rio Rancho School District, Beth Pendergrass, said it’s common to have bus overloads early in the school year despite trying to plan for growth. If there are too many kids on a bus, the protocol states the driver will stop and wait until another bus arrives.
But that wasn’t the case in Bode's situation.
“I was just like, 'This isn’t my stop so I don’t really know what to do from here,'” Bode said.
When asked if the bus driver will face consequences, Pendergrass said it’s been dealt with appropriately. She also said they never know how many students they’re going to have until school actually starts.
They’re working now to readjust routes so everyone gets to school safely and on time.
Updated: August 10, 2018 11:10 PM
Created: August 10, 2018 11:02 PM
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