“Nothing has changed” School Board member says there is still a big problem with school bus services in Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Problems with the buses provided by Durham School Services have been ongoing for years, leaving the parents of students that attend Huntsville City Schools frustrated.

It is now three months into the school year and parents of students that ride the bus have expressed growing concerns over late arrivals, early arrivals, and route disruptions.

The situation was supposed to change for the better after Huntsville City Schools officials made it their mission to make it much easier for students to get home.

But complaints are making the rounds again amongst the parents, particularly for those who live in District 5.

Huntsville City School Board member, Pam Hill said she is tired of it and thinks its time to make a change. "Nothing's changed. They cannot keep bus drivers. They do not know the routes, they change the routes"

Hill says she is constantly hearing from frustrated parents in her district. "We still have late buses by hours. A big one now is they're trying to be early and they pass the bus stops, and they don't even wait for the appointed time."

Hill says she wants Superintendent Dr. Matt Akin to admit that Durham has failed the students and the school system. "There is no reason that these buses should not be operating, no reason. If they can't fulflll their contract, Dr. Akin should break out of the contract. We should measure our losses and we should take care of our children."

WHNT News 19 attempted to speak with Dr. Akin on Wednesday, but he was unavailable for comment.

Hill says there is not much she can do as a board member. Dr. Akin declared the problem an administrative issue, not a board issue. "We can only approve or disaprove, vote or not vote for something that he recommends," explained Hill. "If he doesn't recommend it to us our hands our tied and we can do nothing."

Hill says she wants Huntsville City Schools to own their own buses, and employ their own people. "If we don't have the money for that, I could help him find a lot of other excess contracts that we could cut and we could take care of our students, because nothing is more important than the safety of a child."

For now, Hill says she will continue to be a voice for concerned parents. Concerned parents can also reach out directly to Durham and the superintendent's office with their concerns.


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