A Killeen parent is raising concerns that the bus his daughter takes to school each morning is so overcrowded that some students are forced to sit on the floor in the aisles.
Sean Jacobs said he began to worry after his daughter, a Killeen High School student, told him students were sitting three to a seat and even in the aisles during their daily ride to school on the No. 474 bus.
“When I saw kids sitting on the floor, that’s when I really started to get concerned,” Jacobs said. “It just isn’t safe.”
A Sept. 11 photo Jacobs sent to the Herald shows the inside of a bus full of students, many of whom appear to be sitting in the aisle of the bus. Jacobs said Wednesday overcrowding on the bus has been an issue since the beginning of the school year, which started in late August.
“It was pretty bad, and it was not a very comfortable ride,” said Amber Jacobs, a KHS junior and Jacobs’ daughter. “Last year, we had some problems, but they were taken care of very quickly. This is the first time it’s gone on this long.”
In a written statement issued Wednesday, the Killeen Independent School District said the problem had been reported and was being resolved.
“The driver reported 57 to 59 riders on some days and we began the process to identify and reroute a bus with the capacity to transport the students,” the statement read. “This process began last week and an adjustment has been made — an additional bus was identified for the students.”
According to information from the district, the rated capacity for the majority of Killeen ISD buses is 71 passengers, but that capacity was developed for elementary-age students. Anytime the ridership on a high school bus exceeds 52 to 54, the district begins to search for another bus to accommodate the overload.
According to the district’s statement, an additional bus was identified, and notifications were sent to the campus for the students concerned. The change is scheduled to start today.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.