Parents: School bus system unreliable

Local News

BONDVILLE & CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Complaints against the Unit #4 Champaign School District bus system continue after a parent says his kids weren’t picked up Monday morning.

He says the school called to tell him the bus would be late, then later, it wasn’t coming at all. The bus barn directed questions to the school district, but neither its office nor the school board could not be reached for comment.

Parents want answers. After months of problems with the school bus system, Aaron Shell reached his breaking point.

“It’s been unreliable this year. Last year was really, really good.”

He lives in Bondville, but his kids go to Westview Elementary School. Monday, they didn’t have a way to get there.

“Today was the first time ever where we got a call and they said, ‘We’re not going to come. You bring them to school.'”

Shell was at work. He says his wife drove the kids after getting the call about 7:20 am. The bus is supposed to stop at his home about 6:30 am.

“We’ve gotten that phone call probably half a dozen times saying, ‘Sorry, we’re running late. We’ll be there as soon as we can.’ At that point, we’ve already been outside 30 – 45 minutes.”

This isn’t the first time parents have complained about the district’s bus system. Last month, they spoke out at a school board meeting to voice safety concerns after route changes.

“There are no sidewalks the entire way and it’s a busier street.”

Meanwhile, Shell says he’s sure there’s an explanation for the problems, but the district never gave him one.

“I know that’s a difficult situation, but there’s got to be a solution.”

Until they find it, he’s at the end of the road.

“I don’t really have any other option than to get them out here at 6:30.”

Shell says he doesn’t have any problems with the school itself. He’s just not able to drive his kids every day and wants to make sure they get there safely. 

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