Back-to-school frustrations over JCPS transportation plan

Back-to-school frustrations over JCPS transportation plan
Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 4:26 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – It is back to school on Wednesday morning for 96,000 Jefferson County Public Schools students. More than two-thirds of them ride the bus and JCPS parents face a steep learning curve.

Some parents expressed frustration over being unable to reach the 485-RIDE phone line created by JCPS to respond to questions.

“Yesterday, it was 4 ½ hours straight, no break,” Theresa Fields said as she attempted to confirm schedules and identify bus stops for her two grandchildren. “(I) didn’t even eat breakfast.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” the recording says before the call is ended.

“And they hang up on you,” Fields said.

Douglas Mitchell said he began making calls early last week after he looked at the transportation plan and found out his 8-year-old son will be delivered late to school every day. He repeatedly connected to the same recording.

“And then it hangs up on you,” Mitchell said. “So, there’s no call waiting, no nothing.”

Calls made to 485-RIDE go to a JCPS call center. On the morning before the first day of the new school year there was a high volume of calls. The center was staffed with 10 people.

JCPS recommends patience.

“The buses are going to be running a little bit late on that first day of school, so just be prepared on that first day of school,” said Mark Hebert, a JCPS spokesman. “There are going to be some glitches, and we are aware of them. Just be patient, we’re doing the best we can.”