MCSD transportation troubles continue as parents say children wait hours for bus rides

MCSD transportation troubles continue as parents say children wait hours for bus rides

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's day two of school for students in Muscogee County and parents say the transportation issues are getting worse.

"Pay special attention when it comes to our children, how we regard them, and how we care for them. Even when there's a shortfall, there's a teachable moment in that. How do we manage the shortfall, because all families have them? This is unacceptable on so many levels," says one parent, Dr. Cathy Cook.

Thursday evening, Dr. Cook, a local dentist, became angry when she found out her son was left waiting for two hours for his school bus to take him home from Northside High School. She contacted News Leader 9 at 5:15 p.m. The school day ended at 3:25 p.m.

"I was just thinking, well I hope it comes soon because it was getting really hot and there were a lot of people waiting. I was just waiting for my bus to get there," says high school student, Jordan Cook.

"He was using one of their phones to contact me and my anxiety level began to raise when I didn't know where to go. Did I need to go to Northside or do I go home? I couldn't ascertain if he was on campus or did he make it home," says Dr. Cook.

This isn't the first time this has happened to Jordan Cook. It all started the very first day of school Wednesday morning as he was filled with excitement about starting his high school journey. The wait was an hour and a half.

"I'm upset. It's already the second day and I've missed almost four buses," says Jordan Cook.

"Some people are working. They don't have the kind of access to their parents that my son has with me. I had my staff on alert with my cell phone and the office phone for about three hours trying to ascertain what was happening," says Dr. Cook.

Mercedes Parham, the director of communications for the Muscogee County School District, says with the new year, new routes and the new students, there may have been some confusion.

"Some of it could be misinterpretation about the actual route. As you have new students and new parents, you have a lot of anxiety and jitters and everyone's trying to get it right on the first day. So what we're encouraging parents to do is talk to your children about their bus routes to make sure they know the number and what time to get on and off, and where their bus stop is in the morning," says Parham.

Parham says if parents are having repeat issues after hours, they should contact the district's communication line at 706-748-2034.

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved.