Faculty, parents and students gathered at Utica Academy of Science Tuesday to discuss ongoing busing issues with Durham School Services, the company contracted to serve Utica City School District and UAS starting this year.
Echoing what parents across the region have expressed since the start of school this month, UAS parents have experienced late drop-offs and drop-offs at wrong locations.
UAS even had to push out the start of the school day to accommodate bus schedules, since Durham must also serve the Utica City School District.
UAS Superintendent Dr. Tolgea Hayali says while this is Durham’s issue, the company should also be held accountable by the people who hired them.
“We don't get answers, and we want to have answers. Not just Durham services. Also, the decision makers who make the contract and tells or directs the Durham Services to do what they're supposed to do,” said Hayali.
Durham, like other bus companies across the nation, is experiencing a shortage of drivers, and notified the school communities ahead of the school year that there might be some bumps in the road early on.
In a letter sent to the Utica City School District on Sept. 2, Durham said they developed a staggered schedule to be able to pick up all students, but that would inevitably result in some later drop-offs.
However, parents weren’t expecting students to come home even later than scheduled, or be dropped off at the wrong places.
Durham said earlier this month they think this will be a short-term issue until they can hire more drivers.