1.5 hour wait – who you gonna call?
By Elsa Maxey
Other than a late bus issue, the first day of school at FBISD probably went well. But five Sugar Land parents living in the Belnap subdivision were a little frantic, when their kids’ bus could not be located after having waited at the bus stop for over an hour, and contacting the school district only routed them to the Transportation Department’s voice mail. They even called the Sugar Land Police Department to tell them they were waiting on a bus. After a couple of failed attempts to get a “live voice” for a status update to relieve their concerns, one of the parents said he told the district’s receptionist, “Don’t send me to a voice mail!” But, the Transportation Department was where he ended up again, with the voice mail recording on the other end.
The kids were finally dropped off at their bus stop close to 5 p.m. on Monday, an hour and a half late, reports one of the parents.
But before that, the frustrated and worried group of parents’ alternative to get some kind of resolution was to “call the newspaper,” and they did. As the incident was being related to the “Star” over a cell phone, the school bus arrived and parents could be heard, elated to see that their kids were fine and had not been subjected to any of their worst fears.
FBISD Communications Director Nancy Porter said it was the first day of school, “and buses generally run multiple routes.” She said it took longer to load the buses to make sure everyone was on the right bus, and also said the buses were running late in the Belknap Brookside neighborhood.
Should this situation repeat itself, that is, a parent is not able to speak to someone in the Transportation Department’s office after 5 p.m., and is concerned about their child being late, Porter asks that the child’s school be called or alternatively, the Fort Bend ISD Police Dispatch at 281-634-5500, which has an operator on duty 24/7.
FBISD provides bus transportation services to more than 36,000 students daily, “and the staff is working diligently to resolve all transportation issues in a timely manner,” said Porter.