First Student Buses Improve on Arrival But Safety is Questioned
COLUMBIA -Three weeks into the new school year and there are still some concerns about the safety of bus stop locations. Thirteen-year-old Hunter Hughes has been riding the school bus for 10 years. He attends Jefferson Junior High School and although he is very familar with riding with the busing company, First Student Inc., he says one thing is different this year.
"My stop got moved last year up a couple streets from my house, and I don't really mind walking, it's just not a very safe place to wait," said Hughes.
Hughes' new stop location is at the intersection of Huntridge and Carter Lane. Hughes said his biggest concern is the fact there is nowhere to stand because there is no sidewalk.
According to the Guide for School Transportation Professionals, a school bus stop should, "pick roads with sidewalks or designated pedestrian paths separate from the roadway and traffic. If these are not available, pick roads with sufficient space to walk along the roadway to reach the stop."
First Student media relations director, Maureen Richmond, said although she cannot evaluate the situation from the headquarters in Cincinnati she called the site evaluation team in Columbia to reinspect the site at Huntridge and Carter Lane.
Aside from the site location issue, Jefferson Junior High School Assistant Principal, Dr. Tim Baker, said the school buses have been on time so far this year.
"I know for our school, we probably had one bus arrive late all school year. There haven't been any complaints so far," said Baker.
Baker isn't the only one who noticed the punctuality, but also 9th grader Lily Hobbs.
"I remember last year we waited for like an hour and it was raining that day, but this year they have been pretty good," said Hobbs.