Friday, Sept. 13, 2019
On Tuesday night, Sept. 10, the Pine Bush Central School District Board of Education, administrators and our partners at Birnie Bus Company heard from a number of parents at the school board meeting. We listened to their concerns regarding safety due to the changes made to bus routes this school year. We truly are grateful that our Pine Bush parents are caring, thoughtful and invested in their children’s safety, their education and the community as a whole.
Safety is also one of our main priorities. Your children are our children, and as we work diligently every day to educate them, we do so with a keen eye on their health and safety. We have captured all the concerns that have been brought to us (largely from emails and Bus Stop Review Forms) in a spreadsheet to insure we can track all of our responses. The spreadsheet provides a common database of your concerns that the many people working on this issue can consult for information and insight.
While about 5,000 of our students who travel to and from school each day seem to be fine with their current transportation, about 350 have raised concerns. More than 200 of those have been resolved. After last Tuesday’s BOE meeting, we began a more comprehensive effort to review routes and stops in all of the areas where safety concerns have been raised. This route-by-route review is being conducted in partnership with our provider, Birnie Bus, and includes both their management and drivers. Given the complexity of this new effort, it will likely take another week for us to complete that portion. We projected at last Tuesday’s BOE meeting that many more fixes will begin on Monday, Sept. 16. Anyone affected by those changes has been or will be notified in advance. However, we are now projecting another round of changes based on our new route-by-route review that will be targeted to take effect by Monday, Sept. 23, if not before. Parents affected by those changes will similarly receive advanced notification.
Though the concerns that have been raised represent a relatively small percentage of our ridership, all of those concerns are very real and must be addressed. We remain committed to resolving all of the issues brought to us. Our goal is for effective and efficient bus routes that are safe for all our children. It is taking time, as we knew it would, and we continue to ask for your patience and support.