New School Year Plagued by Transportation Troubles in Hazleton

HAZLETON -- Transportation trouble in one part of Luzerne County caused some students to miss class on Tuesday.

The Hazleton Area School District is now scrambling to resolve the problem.

In an effort to save $600,000 this year, the school district made changes to school bus routes. They hired a company to consolidate bus routes and invested in upgraded software that would help with that, but there have been a bunch of glitches already.

Just over 11,000 students should have been filing into classes in the Hazleton Area School District on Tuesday, but hundreds didn't make it to school because of a bus issue with the district.

"I was very excited to go to school today," said ninth grader Veronica Murdock. "I was looking forward to seeing my friends and starting classes again. It's upsetting that I wasn't able to go."

Murdock missed her first day of high school after a school bus never showed up. It turns out the district didn't assign one to pick her up, and a mother didn't have another way to get the high schooler there.

"I called the administration transportation department six times," said parent Charlie Murdock. "I've called her school itself and spoke to the main office. Every time they keep telling us we have to wait for this phone call back from the transportation department, which never came."

The district admits it's been inundated with calls. The superintendent says at the rate of something like 100 calls an hour -- all from angry parents wanting to know when this problem is going to be resolved.

One mother has spent three hours at the district administration office with her two sons. With a software upgrade the district is using, her son's bus routes were changed to an incorrect address. She has to go to work and doesn't want to leave the boys at school without a way to get home.

"We apologize for the difficulties for the confusion we are having with transportation," said Hazleton Area Superintendent Craig Butler.

The district believes the cost-saving new consolidated bus routes and the upgrade system, in the end, will work well. For right now, these are the growing pains of implementing a new transportation plan.

"This is all an attempt to be prudent with the taxpayers' dollars," said Butler.

The district is hoping to have its transportation troubles all worked out by the end of this week. Until then, it's asking parents to be patient.

It has also asked principals in the district to be lenient with students coming late, or not at all.

2 comments

  • magicmikexxsm

    New School Year Plagued by Transportation Troubles in Hazleton……………..
    Okay HASD, I’ll simplify this for you….you have kids at bus stops A,B, C, D, you do away with stops A, and C, those kids from A, and C still have to be picked up from some place….no computer is going to save you money, maybe good ol common sense HASD. so what you are doing is putting the burden to get those kids from A,C, to a stop so your buses can pick them up…glad to see my tax dollars hard at work….idiots.

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