New week, same problem for bussing

Posted at 12:46 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 13:46:50-04

It is day five for Omaha Public Schools and there are still a lot of headaches when it comes to the district's bussing.

Within the past five days, the district has gone public in what it is doing about the transportation problem and how its contractor, Student Transportation of America, is working side by side with OPS to fix the problem. But on Tuesday morning, a fed up parent took matters into her own hands.

Our buses never showed up, not since day one, says Nicole Brickey.

Brickey and her neighbors, who live near 79th Avenue and Bartlett Street, claim the hunt for their assigned bus started last Wednesday. “We called on day one and we got laughed at when we called – [they said] ‘Yeah, we heard a lot of complaints,” says another parent, Kelly Clark.

At a little past 8:14 a.m. Tuesday, a bus driver from Student Transportation picked up the students who go to Springville Elementary.

But the bus was not assigned to pick up the children. For the past four days, another bus driver would drive by, whose route takes him through the neighborhood only to end up at the same elementary school.

“I hate to see kids cry, because a bus goes by and they don't understand the different bus numbers and all they see is a bus go by and not picking them up and it's very frustrating,” says Denise Rolfes, whose granddaughter waits at the corner of 79th Avenue and Bartlett Street.

Like a lot of parents, Brickey took to social media after reading a news story to vent her frustration about the bus passing. Shortly after, the bus driver replied to her thread.

“He responded with a comment saying, I drive that [bus]. He says, ‘I'm willing to pick them up.”

The driver explained he cannot pick them up from school in the afternoon and bring them home, but Brickey says she is fine with that arrangement for now.

“He's technically not assigned but he's more than willing to help them. So this is a start. It's getting somewhere.”