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Local mom has growing frustrations over DCPS bus delays and absences

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A local mother says her daughter went without a school bus for nearly a week.

Action News Jax went to that girl’s school bus stop and her mother says she needs this issue fixed asap. We’re learning this is part of a much bigger problem that seems to be affecting many district students.

Teresa Urquhart says she’s frustrated no school bus has picked up her daughter to take her to school for the last week. Teresa says she needs DCPS to fix this issue now because next week she doesn’t have anyone else who can get her daughter to and from school.

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This week, Teresa Urquhart is on vacation, so she has time to take her daughter to and from school. But by next week she worries that her daughter might have to miss school.

“My husband is disabled, so he does not drive. If she can’t get to school without the bus it’s going to put a strain on us because I work 12-hour shifts,” says Teresa Urquhart.

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Bus 718 was supposed to pick up Teresa’s daughter, Treonna at 7:40 a.m.

Almost an hour later Teresa drove her daughter and other students to school after some tried walking. From the bus stop at Lake Gray Blvd and Grayfield Drive to Sadie Tillis Elementary, a walk is 49 minutes, but a drive is only 7.

Multiple sources inside STA, the bus company for this route, say this kind of thing is common. It’s happening on multiple routes every single day. They blame understaffing and a lack of operational busses for how late they are. "

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“Hey this is a real big problem, what are you guys going to do? Don’t just leave it up to the parents or the transportation, the schools need to act more involved,” says Teresa Urquhart.

Teresa says DCPS did direct her to a transportation link that is supposed to allow her to see bus transportation routes and ETA’s. Action News Jax tried that link multiple times throughout the day, but it never worked.

I have contacted DCPS and Student Transportation of America on this issue. Only STA got back to reporter Princess Jhane with statement today, acknowledging their bus driver shortage and emphasizing recruitment efforts, which include signing bonuses. They’re working with the district to minimize disruptions, according to the statement.

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