Students late to class after route changes
Students arriving late to school after Main Roads-enforced changes to routes
A school bus optimisation program has seen five buses removed from local bus routes. Gerard Russo is concerned for students’ education as the new routes make the kids arrive at schools late.
PARENTS across the Isis region are in shock after five buses were removed from local school runs.
The removal is part of a statewide “optimisation” by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, which cites “population and other demographic changes” as the reasoning behind the move.
Local contractor South Bundy Buses is reviewing their timetables, but have so far been forced to change their services.
Farnsfield’s Gerard Russo brought the issue to the forefront after school went back last week, and said parents were given little to no notice of the change.
His main concern is the schedule, which has left students in some cases to arrive after the morning bell had rung.
“We’ve got kids getting to school late for roll and that just creates more problems,” Mr Russo said.
Mr Russo’s three children go to Isis District State High School, and their previous morning trip would usually take about 15 minutes.
“They’d leave here at 8.10 and get there about 8.25,” he said. “Now the bus comes at 7.50 and they’re not getting there until about 8.40.
“They’re all rushing when they get there and I can’t see how that helps their learning.”
His concern isn’t just the impact on in-school learning, with extra-curricular activities affected by their late return.
“What’s going to happen to their sport and music and other programs?” he asked.
The decision to remove services was made last year, and Mr Russo said all his children knew was they were “getting a new bus”.
“We’ve never had a problem until now,” Mr Russo said. “The whole system has changed.
“Some bus stops are completely gone, and the kids now have to get to another stop.
“The private buses from Shalom are getting back here before Childers and that’s twice as far.”
Mr Russo is not the only person experiencing the issue, with a petition being circulated from Tuesday.
A parent in Cordalba said her children had also arrived late to school, and also noted how there “seemed to be a lot more kids on buses”.
She said she received a letter to say there would be some changes, but the time her children were picked up would not be altered.
NOT HAPPY: Gerard Russo and others are speaking out about school bus route changes.