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Northport Contracted Buses Overcrowded, Say Parents

Parents say capacity limits do not take into account larger children and book bags.

Parents expressed concern at Monday's Northport-East Northport Board of Education meeting that some contracted buses seem overcrowded.

The contracted buses going to private schools have a listed capacity of 18 adults or 20 children, and ignore the fact that some high school children are the size of fully-grown adults, said parents. They worry that the situation may be a safety issue.

"My son is only 15 and he's six feet tall," said Lauren Gorman, whose son takes a bus to St. John the Baptist School in Islip. She added that the density of students on the bus may be a hazard, especially during highway travel.

"They're all high school students and they're all this size," said another parent. "So if you see a four-window bus or a five-window bus you have to imagine yourself on that bus."

School Transportation Supervisor Trish McGrane said students up to 18 years of age are considered to be children, regardless of size and that the contracting companies are within their contractual rights to fill the bus according to DOT guidelines.

Buses are available in 16, 20, 22, and 28 capacities, said McGrane, and the contractor chooses the bus size based upon the number of children utilizing it. Seatbelts must be available for the capacity listed on the bus.

McGrane said she will look further into the situation this week.

Do you think contracted private school buses are overcrowded? How about the district buses?

Tell us in the comments.

mr September 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM
What district bus? My kid is expected to walk down Pulaski Road during the construction - no sidewalks, gaping holes in the road etc. Funny, you can't bring a cupcake in to school for your kids birthday for fear of obesity but you can let a 13 year old walk through a construction site. I don't think anyone uses common sense anymore!!
PrintsCharming September 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Common sense doesn't apply. It's all about dollars and cents. Isn't it funny how the people expected to teach our children have no brain.
Amy Waldhauer September 11, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Hey PrintsCharming -- it's not the people who teach our kids who set policy. The teachers are merely pawns in the game played by the NY Education Dept. My son was expected to walk to Ocean Avenue, and the bus stop was across the street from our next door neighbor. The policymakers can be moronic at times.
WARREN September 11, 2012 at 07:49 PM
its the same here.my son has to walk a mile and half down busy streets to get to the high school,we called the bus company and they told us he lived in the walk to school zone,these people make it easy for the freaks.maybe northport highschool can get rid of the 4 assistant principals they have for ,you know the principal ????????????

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