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Mother frustrated over new hub bus system used by RPS

RICHMOND, Va. -- Too many students and not enough seats on the bus has a South Richmond mom fighting for change – since the start of the school year.

Now, she’s elated the school system is taking action.

That mom, who did not want to be identified, reached out to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers, asking us to highlight the overcrowding problem.

She said safety is her biggest concern.

She told CBS 6 News that her son, who is in 8th grade, rides to school each day on bus 249. He rides with students from four other schools.

Every day many of them are packed three to a seat, she says.

She believes the district’s new bus hub system is the cause of overcrowding. Under that new system, students in city neighborhoods meet up at a centralized hub and then get on a bus to go to school.

Mom believes in the case of her son’s bus, all kinds of problems can pop up when there are too many kids on board.

“That’s why I reached out before it started because if you have kids with attitudes and they don't want to slide over, it could escalate to other things,” she says. “Then there’s the impact on the bus driver as well; he’s dealing with traffic and the kids’ noise level and rush hour.”

“It is a lot,” the mom said.

Late Tuesday she contacted CBS 6 News to say that her son reported another bus was added to alleviate the overcrowding.

Spokesperson Kenita Bowers from Richmond Public Schools confirmed that. In a statement, she told CBS 6:

“Bus 120 was added in the morning and bus 89 has been added in the afternoon. Both of these buses stops are at Broad Rock Elementary School. This stop has approximately 30 students. This split should result in each bus having 30 to 35 students on it. The reason this action could not be taken sooner is due to our challenges in hiring a sufficient number of qualified drivers. Our goal is to transport our students in a safe and timely manner each day. We appreciate the support of our families as we continue working to add drivers to our transportation team.”

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