KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some Kansas City metro kids felt pretty cold on Friday morning, when temperatures were around 15 degrees.
One family complains their two kids waited for a school bus that didn’t show up, and this isn’t the first time.
“I don’t want them standing out there for 15-20 minutes,” Candace Dawson said. “I told them to wait in the house. It was too cold to wait outside.”
Dawson’s two sons didn’t catch their ride, which takes them from 52nd and Olive to King Elementary School. That’s considered a “sweetheart bus stop,” one that isn’t an official pickup point, but one that’s agreed upon by a regular bus driver so kids don’t have to walk as far.
Dawson said Friday morning is merely the latest time the bus didn’t come. Dawson added her two kids are the only children who use that bus stop.
“I’ve tried to be very patient, but it’s definitely beyond frustrating at this point,’ Dawson lamented.
Dawson, who has three kids in all, said she’s monitored the system of texts and phone numbers Kansas City Public Schools offers for bus updates. Dawson said even her school principal was unaware.
“Six or seven times we’ve had no bus and no communication that the bus wasn’t coming,” Dawson said.
Kansas City Public Schools contracts with Student Transportation of America for bus service. The district told FOX4 this doesn’t happen often, and schools should be notifying parents of bus issues.
A nationwide shortage of school bus drivers continues, and transportation companies complain they aren’t getting quality applicants.
Jonathan Salomon, a spokesperson for KCPS, said sometimes regular drivers call out sick.
“KCPS team is even in the early stage process to develop their own app to monitor school buses and be able to give live notifications and status to parents of where their child’s bus is in real time,” Salomon said via text message.
Dawson said she’s also seen trouble in getting her kids home from after school tutoring. Salomon said STA officials and school leaders will make better efforts to communicate with families.