Mom wants action after school bus was no show
January 28, 2016
Columbus — A mother made a call for action to ABC 6/FOX 28 when she said she received some shocking words from Columbus City Schools when her kids weren't picked up.
She now wants help securing her kids a ride.
The majority of Tami Birden's mornings are spent making sure her kids, aged between seven and 14, make it to school.
"To not have a bus show up at all is just unacceptable," she said.
But this week, both Birden and the school district admit her regular bus driver was sick and her regular bus never showed up.
"I have a job I have to go to," Birden told ABC 6/FOX 28. "That means I have to take time out of my day to take them to school. So, that makes me late for work."
However, the district says it would never leave one of its 37,000 students it transports without a ride.
School representative Scott Varner says they're continuously dealing with a substitute bus driver shortage so they need to "get creative" when there is no substitute to cover a route.
Varner says they'll ask a driver to "double up" or create what's called an "open route."
"We'll ask drivers from other areas to pick up the pieces," Varner told ABC 6/FOX 28.
He said they created an open route on Birden's route this week, which was all listed on the Bus Bulletin found on the district's new app.
The site will keep parents up-to-date on route changes and daily delays, and they say Birden is not one of the 2,600 parents who have downloaded the app.
They say that means she did not get the information as to when her children would be picked up by a different driver.Varner says the district continues to recruit new subs everyday but currently have 700 drivers to cover 870 routes.
For anyone interested in becoming a substitute school bus driver, the district pays $15 an hour.
By Lisa Rantala, abc6onyourside.com