LOCKPORT – The Lockport Board of Education last week hired a consultant to re-examine the district’s bus routes.
Proposed policies on transportation and bus scheduling and routing were presented to the board at Wednesday’s meeting, but were not publicly released.
Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley pledged in January that the district would re-examine its policy on bus pickups after a flap over a decision to stop picking up children at each driveway on Young Road, a dead-end street off Sunset Drive.
Instead, the district directed Ridge Road Express, the bus company, to collect and drop off all the Young Road children near the intersection with Sunset. Parents on the road protested that was unsafe.
The board hired Kevin Love, transportation director for the West Seneca district, to go over Lockport’s bus route structure.
Bradley said she doesn’t expect any changes to be instituted in time for the opening of school in September. “If we have to make necessary changes midyear, we’ll do it,” she said.
Jonathan May, one of the Young Road parents, was unimpressed with news of the consultant.
“Why will this review not be done by the beginning of the school year? What have they been waiting for? This has been an issue for almost a year already,” May wrote in an email to The Buffalo News.
Bradley said a revision is overdue because of the district’s recent consolidation of elementary schools and its shift from two middle schools to one intermediate school and one junior high school.
According to statements in January by another Young Road parent, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. James K. Hildreth, the revised plan shortened the time on the bus for Sebastian Drive children by 15 to 20 minutes a day, while one Young Road child faced a 45-minute longer ride home.
May asked, “How is there no one within our own district capable of reviewing the bus routes? And if there is no one with that qualification, why was our bus route summarily changed by someone unqualified to make that judgment?”