Lakeshore News Tonight

This article underwritten by: Renetta DuBose

Gary School Buses Prepare for First Day

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School starts tomorrow for students in the City of Gary and a local bus company wants to make sure the busses roll on time and problem-free.  Illinois Central School Bus officials gave last-day advice for bus riders’ parents.

The bus company, which contracts with Gary Community School Corporation to pick up and drop off children for the district’s schools and Roosevelt College and Career Academy, is telling parents the best route to take in order to avoid transportation issues at the start of school.

“We have been going to local schools, so if anyone wants to get their child’s bus stop number, go to your local school and they should have your drop off sheet there,” said Jamal Washington, Director of Community Relations.

Washington said the company has been working throughout the summer to ensure the process for transporting children is smooth.

“We’re having four extra buses that will be in motion in the City of Gary, ready if we have any problems.”

The fleet of more than 70 buses is set to roll early Wednesday morning.  Gary Community School Corporation Director of Transportation Milton Patch said Illinois Central should not face the same fiasco it had during the previous school year where students were not picked up on time and were left waiting at the bus stop.  He said the company worked for a two-week period this summer to register parents who might have had a change in address.

“Schools had meet and greets with the building principals.  At that time parents registered and that information has been tabulated.  However, we had to put a stop in motion so that we could route our fleet to make sure that we could pick up buses and that information that we received after Aug. 5, those will be placed in after we start this roll up.”

Patch is asking parents to be patient for the first few weeks so that the necessary data entry can take place.  Until then, Washington has this message for parents.

“If you are a new parent and you’re not in the system, at your local school you will have a drop off sheet.  Go there.  Find that stop that’s near your home. Use that for the stop temporarily and make sure you get in the system so we can add you later.”

In the event that parents need help with school bus pick up and drop off, Washington is directing them to contact Illinois Central School Bus at (219) 938-6579 or (219) 881-5425.  You can also call or text (219) 614-0523. 

To pull bus information online, click on this link, go to the advanced search link and complete the requested information followed by search.    

In addition, Illinois Central School Bus wants parents to drop off and pick up children about ten minutes before the bus is expected to arrive.  Washington said children should also avoid running in front of the school bus.

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