Some Upstate School Bus Routes Too Long For State Guidelines - WSPA.com

Some Upstate School Bus Routes Too Long For State Guidelines

Posted:
By Gordon Dill

Daniel Harrison's daughter rides to middle school from a bus stop right in front of her home on Abner Creek Road.

She leaves home at about 6:20AM.  Many days she doesn't make it back before 5pm.

By bus, it's a very long ride.


"I'm telling you it takes them 90 minutes to get from here to the middle school. It does not take us that long," Harrison said.

7 On Your Side drove that route.  It's fewer than 8 miles and the straight shot took just 8 minutes to drive.

Spartanburg County District 5 told us that route is their longest.  It's 90 minutes each way.

"Well we've talked about that today. It probably is too long but we need more buses from the state to make shorter routes," said school district spokesman Bobby Bentley.

But it's not just a shortage of buses.

In October, Laurens County revealed that some bus routes lasted at least that long because of a shortage of bus drivers.  Some students got home later than 5:30 pm.

There are more delays caused by the state's aging fleet.

In Greenville County 15 buses broke down on the first day of school.

A day earlier, a bus in Pickens County caught fire.

But these problems aren't new and your school district knows it.

"Our transportation director made a note to me that it's not only more buses, it's newer buses, getting older buses may not help," Bentley said.

So the problem is the routes themselves.  That problem begins at your local school district.

In fact, many routes, including the one outside Daniel Harrison's house, violate state guidelines.

Those guidelines use "one hour and fifteen minutes as a guide for a maximum riding time."

The state director of transportation said the problem could be inefficient routes or overcrowded buses but he said he wasn't aware of this specific case.

He also said that parents who think their routes are longer than 90 minutes should call his office.

That number is 1-803-734-8248


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