Sachem SD brings in additional bus company to help with transportation issues
Sachem Central School District officials say it has brought in another bus company to help with the bus driver shortage that has caused transportation issues.
The company, Orange County, started routes on Wednesday.
Bus problems have been happening since the start of school, and parents say some kids were still not picked up by buses this week.
"What am I supposed to do? I have two special needs children, they both need me, they both need certain things and they're not getting that and there is no end in sight," says Jeaneille Clarke, a Sachem parent.
Clarke says there is no bus assigned to getting her son home from school.
"We've been having to make arrangements to pick him up early so I can get my other child to his program, but he's losing minutes," says Clarke. "He's supposed to be at his program at 2:45 p.m. How can I be in two places at once?"
Jose Rivera said his son not having a bus route is the "craziest situation I've ever seen in my life.”
The bus company, WE Transport, told the school board at a meeting Wednesday night that it is doing everything it can to correct the problem. It explained that it is offering signing bonuses and paid training. Meanwhile, current staff members are working double shifts to help fill holes.
A WE Transport spokesperson issued a statement saying, "We are working closely with the district and are making progress by bringing on more resources and adding students to buses each day. The safe and efficient transportation of our student riders remains our number one priority."
The Sachem Central School District said that problems persist and predicted they'll continue.
"I don't want to hear the excuses anymore. And no offense, when children are getting left at a school and the school isn't even calling?! That's not a WE Transport problem, that's a Sachem problem," said Rivera.
"I don't know who's at fault," said Clarke. "I feel like it's kind of everybody passing the buck along to everyone else, and I think ultimately it doesn't really matter who's at fault - they just need a solution."