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Bus repeatedly misses stop, mom calls 2 On Your Side

BATON ROUGE - A concerned mom reached out to 2 On Your Side after her son's bus is repeatedly a no show. Emily Goodin says it's happened at least 15 times.

"Some weeks they get him and some weeks they just don't," Goodin said.

Her son, 10-year-old Brandon Castille, is outside waiting for the bus at 7:15 a.m. Sometimes he waits for a few minutes, other days it's 30-40 minutes. For the fourth day in a row last week, the bus didn't show up.

When it doesn't pick him up, Goodin takes him to school. Even this fifth-grade student knows that puts her in a tough spot.

"I also feel kind of bad for my parents who have to drop me off because I know they have to work and I don't want them to be late," Castille said.

Goodin says she's been trying to get this sorted out and she's been told various things.

"They said they didn't have the right address for him this time which can't be true, because they have to stop set up for him," Goodin said.

She was told the bus would be there, but it didn't show last week. Goodin, who has shared custody of her son, says he's at the bus stop every other week.

"I think the driver just thinks, 'Oh, well, he's not out there for three days he's not going to be back,'" Goodin said.

But he's out there, waiting. Goodin is concerned there's a bus driver shortage.

"To find out from the school, they say we have such a shortage it's not even the same people driving in the morning as it is the afternoon," Goodin said. "But they did tell me he's not the only kid that this is happening to."

Many school districts around the country, and the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, including the Transportation Department, have and still are navigating COVID-19 and worker shortages. The East Baton Rouge Parish School System Transportation Department currently has 96% of its operator positions filled.

The Transportation Department is delivering an Opt-In campaign to families. The campaign will let the district know how many students need transportation to and from school. It will also support the district in maximizing assets by optimizing travel times and bus routes, identifying appropriate bus stops, and allowing for more consistent and efficient transportation services.

Either way, Castille will be at the bus stop waiting.

"Also, I know it's happening to other kids and I know some of them can get stressed out, and yeah, sometimes I get stressed out too," he said.

This week, Castille's bus picked him up.

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