Parents concerned about overcrowding on Hamilton County school buses

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)– It is just the beginning of the school year, but some Hamilton County parents say crowded buses are a problem.

One of the mothers whose child was killed in the Woodmore bus crash was given a picture of a crowded Hamilton County school bus. She then posted it to Facebook, saying it is an issue happening at Brown Middle School and Central High School.

Hamilton County Department of Education Officials say they are aware of the problem.

“Something that is happening on a couple of buses in select areas, as you begin a new school year it takes about a week or so to really get a good feel about how many are going to be riding a bus and if there are increases in certain areas, at this point we are assessing and there are a couple in the brown area that are reaching what we consider capacity,” said Tim Hensley, with the Hamilton County Department of Education.

Officials say buses can hold 75 to 82 students, but there are more than 65 students on a bus they start looking into the crowding issue.

Wednesday afternoon the transportation department looked at routes and made temporary adjustments.

“It takes a couple of days to make a permanent adjustment, because once you decide to alter a bus route then you have to contact parents, let them know that the bus number is going to change for their child,” Hensley said.

If a parent is concerned about a crowded bus, they are urged to report it to the school district.

“In this case we say, just looking at the picture you can’t tell what bus that is or where exactly to go and look. So contacting us to let us know is the first best step and making sure we can make those adjustments to get the bus in a situation where students can ride comfortably and safely,” Hensley said.

Parents say the bus in the picture is number 437.

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