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New bus routes, schedules for CPS draws mixed reviews on first day of school

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The new bus routes and schedules got mixed reviews on the first day of class for Cincinnati Public School students.

Students will be riding regular Metro buses this year. They can no longer use Metro’s “Xtra” routes that were specifically set up for them because of a lack of drivers.

The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers said the new bus routing system did not go well for all students on Thursday.

“We have really long wait times just to drop them off. We have kids running everywhere,” said Michelle Dillingham, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers. “We heard outside Hughes High School and Withrow, parents dropping their kids off, jumping out of the car to get to school right on the street, right, not in crosswalks.”

Metro said they did not hear about any security issues and says the plan is working.

Including moving some bus stops closer to the kids’ homes and increasing the number of busses that come by.

“Most students will see a 10-minute shorter commute time over the XTRA service, as well as more options,” said Metro External Affairs VP Brandy Jones. “So, if they miss their bus, another is coming in five to seven minutes.”

Gavi Begtrup told FOX19 NOW on Wednesday he planned on riding the bus with his daughter to make sure she got to school alright.

In talking about Thursday’s ride, he said his daughter was a little apprehensive, but felt more comfortable when she saw some classmates on the same bus.

”We got on the first bus, she sits down by the window, I sit down next to her, and she turns to me and says, ‘what are you doing,’ I’m like, ‘oh, excuse me,’” explained Begtrup. “So, I got up and moved another seat behind her.”

When asked if the Xtra routes will ever return, Jones did not close the door on the possibility.

“We would be happy to have that conversation with CPS,” Jones said. “We are in contact with them and if that is something they desire to have happen, we are happy to have that conversation.”

Dillingham said the new system is a “total failure,” and the only way to fix it is to reinstate the dedicated bus routes.

Metro said any notion that some kids have to walk up to two and a half miles to get to a bus stop is not true.

SORTA said no student has to walk more than a half mile to get on a bus to go to school.

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