Riverview school buses face overcrowding problem

A Riverview mother is calling on the local school district to fix a problem with overcrowding on the area's school buses.

Mother calls overcrowding on daughter's bus 'absolutely crazy'

A Riverview mother is asking her school district fix the overcrowding problem on school buses after her daughter opted to walk part of the way home instead of continuing on a packed bus.

Kathy McManus said her daughter, Veronica, was squeezed onto a full school bus after the first day of classes last week.

"Crazy. Absolutely crazy. It was four kids in her seat. One sitting on her lap. There [were] kids in the aisle," she said.

Anglophone East transportation facts

  • 120 school buses
  • 214 morning bus routes
  • 270 afternoon bus routes
  • 3,883 bus stops
  • 2.3 million kilometres: annual distrance travelled by school buses
  • 87 permanent district school bus drivers
  • $4.3 million: annual budget for salaries, fuel and maintenance

And the bus issue did not get better after the first day of classes.

McManus said on the second day, Veronica, a Grade 8 student, didn't even take the bus the whole way home because the ride was so crowded.

Veronica got off at friend's bus stop instead and walked the rest of the way home.

McManus said this is not the first year she has been frustrated by full buses but this year she said she wants to have the problem rectified.

The Riverview mother said bus drivers should refuse to drive overcrowded buses until the problem is resolved.

Problem being resolved

Carole Murphy, a spokesperson for the Anglophone East School District, said the area transportation manager is working with the schools in Riverview to address the overcrowding concerns.

The district spokesperson said the district does not assign more students to a bus than the vehicle can hold.

So she said the overcrowding problem normally rests with the students.

"It's because they actually get onto a bus that's not the one that they're assigned to. So that when we go to pick up the child that is assigned to that bus, that seat may be taken," she said.

"So it's just one of the things that we work through at the beginning of every school year, always with the safety of our students in mind."

The district officials are trying to make sure the right students are getting on the right buses.

Murphy said the problem should be solved as early as Monday or later this week.