Parents complain East Central ISD, Northside ISD school buses overcrowded

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SAN ANTONIO – Some East Central Independent School District parents say school buses have been overcrowded since school started last week.

Anthony Cubit — a parent to children ages 5, 7, 13 and 17 — shared a picture with KSAT that showed a student sitting on the floor next to the exit.

"She's sitting on the floor at the back of the bus, like her backrest is the emergency exit," Cubit said. "That's definitely not safe. Other times, some children were standing up."

East Central ISD officials released the following statement Wednesday:

"The safety and well-being of our students are of paramount importance to East Central ISD. Students are not allowed to stand or block exits while the bus is moving. All overloads from last week (first week of school for ECISD) were addressed on Monday and changes have gone into effect. Letters to parents as well as via our parental portal system (which includes text messages and automated phone calls) went out in the last two days. Drivers are instructed to report overloads if they occur so someone from transportation may provide for alternate transportation to provide for a safe route. The buses are not allowed to move if they are overloaded. Parents are encouraged to contact the district's transportation department for more information."

RELATED: NEISD bus drivers prepare for the first day of school

Cubit said Wednesday that he hasn't seen any improvement and that he has contacted the transportation department several times.

"Between both these neighborhoods, there's a lot of kids," Cubit said. "We just want our kids to be safe. That's a long travel."

Northside ISD just began the school year on Monday, and parents have also contacted KSAT about bus overcrowding on routes headed to Harlan High School.

Barry Perez, executive director of communications for Northside ISD, released the following statement Wednesday.

"Northside ISD is aware that several of our buses have larger than expected numbers and we are taking steps to remedy this overcrowding. To immediately address the overcrowding and ensure student safety, we are implementing double runs for a small handful of bus routes to ensure that the number of riders does not exceed district standard.

"The first several days of any new school year always bring the need to carefully monitor our bus routes and to find ways to resolve unpredictable challenges such as increased ridership due to fast growth areas. Through the year, we will continue to monitor our existing routes and make necessary modifications to ensure that those routes are efficient and that students are safe."

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