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Students, Parents Have Issue with GEHR Busing Situation

The buses aren't always on time, leaving students late to school in the morning and work in the afternoon.

Students, Parents Have Issue with GEHR Busing Situation

Parent Eric Wells said he understands.

So does fellow parent Ruth Weisbecker.

Buses do occasionally break down. Bus drivers call out, and routes run late occasionally.

They get that, Wells and Weisbecker said.

"I don't mind once in awhile" having to take his child to school, Wells told the Greater Egg Harbor Regional Board of Education at its meeting Monday night, Jan. 9. However, it's not an isolated incident.

He, along with Weisbecker, indicated that transportation has been a major issue since the current school year began in September, a concept that the district doesn't dispute.

The buses arrive 25 or 45 minutes late, if they show up at all.

"One company had 18 bus drivers call out," acknowledged Business Administrator Charles Mueller, noting this has affected bus routes to both Cedar Creek and high schools.

He also noted that several buses were also up for inspection, which impacted routes. Some of the buses were kept back to allow for the inspections—which take place twice a year, according to school officials—to occur. If the bus fails, it could be kept off the road until the issue is fixed.

Wells noted that only 10 buses are usually kept back a day for inspections. Those inspections are usually at 8 a.m., leaving plenty of time for the bus drivers to pick up and transport students to the intended schools.

Greater Egg Regional School district has three high schools—Cedar Creek in Egg Harbor City, Absegami in Galloway Township and Oakcrest in Mays Landing.

The school district deals with three separate bus companies that transport students to each of the district's three high schools, but is only having a problem with one of the three bus companies, according to school officials.

Officials and the parents alike hope that the problem is corrected.

Weisbecker said that her daughter is about to lose her job because the bus doesn't always come to transport her back home from school. She cannot always get there in time because she works an hour away, Weisbecker said.

Superintendent of Schools Steven Ciccarelli said the bus company has "been put on notification" that its performance is lacking.

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