Parents and students managing changes to Lee County school bus routes

Published: August 10, 2022 8:49 PM EDT
Updated: August 10, 2022 8:57 PM EDT

It was a smooth first day of school in Lee County and the school district cut 13 routes as they still face bus driver shortages, but it worked Wednesday.

Deaah, a student’s mother, was determined to make sure her child was on time to and from school on the first day of the year. Which explains why she stood right at the bus stop waiting for the bus to arrive. But, she also wanted to speak to the bus driver directly.

“So what time I be expecting to see you back here? 3:45?” Deaah asked the bus driver. “They told me 3:45 I know that’s a lie,” said Deaah.

Ariana, Deaah’s daughter, uses the bus regularly and Deaah tracks the bus down to the minute using the bus tracking app.

“It’s supposed to be here at 8:14, it’s here at 8:19,” said Deaah. And even five minutes late does not sit right with Deaah. That’s why she went up to the bus to ask the bus driver himself what time her daughter would be dropped off.

“3:48? I’ll be here at 3:38!” said Deaah. Like many mothers, Deaah would not ever be fashionably late picking up her daughter from the bus stop.

Deaah isn’t alone in thinking or being extra cautious when it comes to these pick-up and drop-off times and sites. When you think of the driver shortage or the fact the district cut 13 routes it’s hard not to act like she is.

Which is one of the reasons why Mr. Reitz opted to drive his kids to school for the first day.

“I think that’s one of the reasons, right? We’ve heard different stories, how long it takes to get to school,” said Mr. Reitz.

Deeah kept track of her daughter throughout the day but in the end, went to the school and picked her daughter up herself. The bus did arrive back to drop others off as expected, at 3:48.