JCPS sees improvement in drop-off times; parents still worried about wrong bus stops

JCPS says progress was made with their adjusted transportation. The last student getting home on Friday at 7:43pm.
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 11:42 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - JCPS said progress was made with their adjusted transportation. The last student got home on Friday at 7:43 p.m.

So how much better were the drop-off times and locations the second time around?

WAVE News went back to a bus stop we were at last week to compare.

Last Wednesday it took two hours and 16 minutes to drop kids off at Tennis and Wimstock in Valley Village.

Friday it took 36 minutes, which is much better. However this time, it wasn’t late buses that parents were worried about.

“Not as bad as two hours,” Rachael Briggs said.

That’s how long Briggs and other families had to wait for their kids’ bus last week.

Two hours and 16 minutes to be exact.

On Friday, it was only elementary and middle schools that were open. On Monday they’ll add high schools to the mix.

“I predict even more chaos,” Briggs said. “Not as much hopefully, but I still don’t see it under control.”

When we first got to the corner of Tennis and Wimstock, a woman ran by saying she was looking for her daughter, who she said was dropped off in the wrong spot.

“I was like hold on mom, I got to go to the stop sign, I don’t know where I am,” Abi Feusner said.

Abi had to look at street signs to find out where she was. Once she figured it out, her mom rushed over.

“She showed me where she had been dropped off, which was Bessels and Ethan Allen,” Abi’s mom Nikki Feusner said. “Which is a pretty good distance from Sandray and Watson.”

“I was like, if I keep walking and keep taking random turns, I’m going to wind up and somebody’s house that I know,” Abi said.

So how exactly did Abi end up at this corner?

“She told me that her bus driver looked at this tag right here three times, and it says Watson Lane and Sandray Blvd is where she’s supposed to be dropped off,” Nikki said. “And she still said, ‘Hey where do you live?’ and she said Tennis Blvd. And she said, ‘Just start walking this way.’ And this kid doesn’t know this part of the neighborhood.”

It was a 10-minute walk from where Abi was dropped off to where she was supposed to be.

Abi said the bus driver was letting kids off at random stops.

“She asked me where I live, and I was like I live on Tennis,” Abi said. “And she was like, ‘Just get out, and I’ll tell you when to cross the road and just keep going that way and turn.’”

The buses may have been on time, but now parents might have a new thing they’re worried about.

“Somebody has to get it under control,” Briggs said. “We’re playing Russian roulette with our kids. They’re out here running around, dropping them here, dropping them there.”

The parents said after fixing bus times, now JCPS needs to get the bus stops right.

While students may have been dropped off earlier than last week, parents said issues with bus stops still continue.

Austin Shane has a son who just started Kindergarten and is autistic. Shane said he got a message from JPS this morning saying his son who was set to be picked up from Auburndale Elementary at 3:54 p.m. The text said the district would send another message after school when the bus leaves the building.

However, at the end of the school day, that text never came. Shane was never alerted that his son had been picked up or that his bus was on the way. Then he got a phone call.

“I get a call from the school saying that he has been dropped off at a different elementary school,” Shane said. “And that the principal of the school is picking him up and that I need to pick him up from his school.”

Thanks to some help from his principal, his son finally made it home, but the school district wasn’t able to give an explanation as to why his son was never dropped off.

“That’s what they did not have information about,” Shane said. “They said different things, that maybe even the bus driver didn’t know where he was supposed to drop him off.”

Friday, WAVE obtained a letter to JCPS bus drivers with the protocol if a child’s parent isn’t at the stop. It tells them to continue with their route and drop the kid off at their next school.

Shane worries that the miscommunication will continue. He said his worst fear is that his son will get dropped off at the wrong stop and not know where he is.

“If he was able to get off at the wrong bus stop or anything and him not knowing how to deal with that matter and just the fear of him being scared, not knowing something new,” Shane said.

He said his son was non-verbal just a couple of years ago. After attending therapy, it was a major accomplishment that he was able to attend Kindergarten. Now, Shane worries that all the confusion will only set him back.

“This is actually his second day of Kindergarten,” Shane said. “And we just want him to have a good experience so that it doesn’t progress him back.”