Changes in Place for Broward School Buses as New Year Begins

After the school bus fiasco in Broward last year, the district has an upgraded routing system, new routing manager and 50 new buses

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Monday, Aug 19, 2013  |  Updated 9:14 AM EDT
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After the school bus fiasco in Broward last year, the district has an upgraded routing system, new routing manager and 50 new buses. NBC 6's Julia Bagg has the story.

After the school bus fiasco in Broward last year, the district has an upgraded routing system, new routing manager and 50 new buses. NBC 6's Julia Bagg has the story.

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Changes in Place for Broward School Buses as New Year Begins

After the school bus fiasco in Broward last year, the district has an upgraded routing system, new routing manager and 50 new buses. Berkley Morris, her parents Dr. David Morris and Andrea Morris, bus driver Jose Acevedo and Broward Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie talked about what they're expecting heading into this year.

Broward Parents Worried About Bus Routes

Due to a delay in mailing bus cards, parents flooded bus depots Saturday demanding answers and wondering whether their children would have a ride to school come Monday.
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They're ready to get back to school at the Morris household in Weston. Berkley is excited about second grade.

There's one thing the 7-year-old is hoping does not happen this year.

"That the bus never pick me up," said Berkley.

She's talking about the school bus fiasco in Broward County last year. Buses never showed, kids were dropped off at wrong stops – and the problems went on for weeks.

"They were short a bus so what they were doing is having a bus drop kids off, then go back to the school, then pick her up, so it was 45 minutes later she'd show up. Then one day it was not that and they dropped a first-grader off at a bus stop where there were no parents," said Berkley’s father, Dr. David Morris.

Here's why the Morris family isn’t expecting the same confusion on Monday, when the school year begins.

"So far we're way ahead already. We got our bus pass, our bus cards last week in the mail. Last year we never received them at all," said Andrea Morris.

Broward Schools Chief Claims Sabotage by Bus Drivers

At one of Broward's four main bus terminals, drivers have been making dry runs for the last two days.

A veteran driver has noticed things are running differently compared to last year, when he says things weren’t organized.

"And they gave us – everything was late, the bus passes and everything. But this year I think it's going to be a lot better. I see more organization this year,” said Jose Acevedo, who has been a driver for 16 years.

On Monday 50 brand-new buses will hit the road for the first time. More are on order.

Superintendent Addresses Bus Service Issues

What's new besides some buses? An upgraded routing system and a new routing manager.

One of the lessons learned from last year, said Broward Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie.

"Our routes were changing too frequently last year, so for example a bus driver could have a route on Monday that would change on Wednesday," explained Runcie.

There was also a shortage of drivers last year, which has been addressed.

So for those who are apprehensive about the start of the school year and putting their kids on a bus, here's what Runcie advises: "You know what, you should have no concerns, we're ready, you should trust the system.”

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