ERIE, Pa. — Since the start of the school year, some families of Erie’s Public Schools have expressed concern about bus transportation.
Parent William Samec said, “The amount of students that are on these buses. She’s telling me that these students are actually standing up.”
Many students have longer distances to school than last year. The district said more than 2,300 students have received bus cards.
“My question to the EMTA, and maybe to you guys, is when does a EMTA bus become a school bus and when does it become a regular passenger bus,” said Samec.
Because the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority (EMTA) is a public bus system, officials said they cannot reserve the buses for students only. Therefore, they are seeking other solutions.
Superintendent Brian Polito said Wednesday, “As of today, I think we have all of these overcrowding issues worked out. The EMTA has been adjusting the routes over the last two weeks as weeks as we’ve identified more areas that need more buses.”
Polito said, “Today, they added an additional bus to Harding, which was the last area that we were hearing issues about. Right now, we’re really down to a few buses that are running later than we would like.”
The Erie School Board said such improvement is a daily task.
The board’s president Frank Petrungar, Jr., said, “The district is everyday monitoring what’s going on with the buses. They’re actually talking to the schools everyday. They’ve made some changes to try to relieve some of that issue.”