AMES, Iowa — Like a lot of parents in Ames, Mariana Serao isn’t very happy with Durham School Bus Service right now.
This past week, the school bus showed up too early one morning, leaving her 8-year-old daughter Clara behind. Then, in the afternoon, the bus dropped Clara off about half hour late.
“It was 30 minutes. Thirty minutes that I called the office and nobody gave me any information. It was either busy or on an answering machine,” Serao says, “I had no information about my daughter. I didn’t know where she was. I was panicking at a certain point.”
More than two weeks into the school year, and complaints about the bus company that the district contracts with are common. School administrators tell us, part of the problem is the school day has been lengthened, requiring re-routing of the whole school bus system.
“And as a result of the whole rerouting, to be quite honest, there were a lot of things that aren’t acceptable at this time and we realize that and we’re digging into them,” says superintendent Tim Taylor, “We had some inaccurate average speeds that it would take, travel times. We didn’t account for some traffic and I think Durham now has realized that.”
The superintendent met with Durham Bus Service Thursday to try to get these problems hammered out “To be quite honest, we need it now and we need it immediately because anything else is unacceptable,” Taylor says.
The district plans to send out a mass e-mail to parents to explain the situation and to let them know when children should be piked up and dropped off.