LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Lafayette Parish School Board held a session today for parents to voice their concerns over the new bus routes and transportation issues.
The Lafayette Parish School System has issued updated information on the addition of out-of-zone bus routes, stops, and satellite pick-up points, which reads:
“The superintendent has approved additional satellite stops to be established to accommodate the growing needs of several programs, including gifted, Schools of Choice, and parochial schools. By increasing the number of satellite stops, the district is reducing the number of students at each stop, and the stops are closer to residential clusters of students. Most in-zone routes are complete and will not change. The district has been successful in establishing a routing system that serves students while remaining time and cost efficient. Satellite stops were determined using historic stops, ridership, and parcel clusters.”
You can find the full statement from the School Board here.
At the meeting today, parents were frustrated with their children having to walk so far to get to their desired bus stop. Others upset with LPSS’ website being glitch-y lately, and not being able to find any information about what bus stop their child is supposed to be dropped off at, to get to school on time before the classes begin in the upcoming weeks.
“Very frustrated, very frustrated. We want our kids to have the best education, you know, but at the end of the day, they need to help us as well,” said Angelique Alexander, a parent frustrated with the new bus routes.
“There was missing information. It has a bus stop, which was actually half a block from our new house, but there was no time and no bus number,” said Denise Gallagher, another concerned parent.
Those parents attended the informational session on Friday to ask questions about the new routes, and voice their concerns.
According to our partners at The Daily Advertiser, there are several reasons for the changes. A new High School is opening which means there are new attendance zones. Also, the school board cut $1.75 million dollars from the transportation budget this Spring to close a deficit, which eliminated more than 20 routes for Schools of Choice.
“The difference between last year and this year, is this year is when our soft floor implemented the walk to stop, which is 2 tenths of a mile for Elementary, 4 tenths for Middle and 6 tenths for High School. For Schools of Choice Programs, for our Academy Programs, the satellite stops are a little more consolidated,” said Azadeh Yazdi, the Marketing & Recruitment Coordinator for Lafayette Parish School System.
She believes that these moves they made were necessary to improve efficiency.
“Making sure that we’re maximizing every opportunity, maximizing our bus loads, keeping in mind safety and security, but it’s all about being efficient,” said Yazdi.
But for single parents like Angelique Alexander, who works from 7 at night to 7 in the morning, it’s a safety issue for her daughter. She’s going to be attending Lafayette High and would have to cross a major highway to get to the proposed bus stop.
“It is a big safety concern, because what about if she gets hit by a car, or what about if somebody try to do something while she’s walking over there? It’s really too far for my 14-year-old to be walking,” said Alexander.
There will be another informational session for anyone with transportation concerns on Monday. It will be held in the Federal Building’s conference room, at the Lafayette Parish School Board’s building on Chaplin Drive.That session will run from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To find out more information about where your child’s bus route is, visit LPSS’ website.