Transport Workers Union host town hall, addressing school bus issues in Richmond County

Transport Workers Union host town hall, addressing school bus issues in Richmond County

RICHMOND COUNTY (WFXG) - School bus drivers and parents brought their issues and complaints with school buses to the Richmond County School System. They packed a town hall meeting Thursday night, held by the Transport Worker’s Union.

Some of the drivers including, Greg Johnson, say they want the maintenance issues to be fixed quicker because at the end of the day they their students are their biggest priority.

“I carry the most precious cargo in the world, it’s kids and they can’t be replaced,” Johnson said.

Richmond County School bus drivers and parents discussed issues they said they’re having, as well as students, regarding safety and health. Johnson says he’s had numerous problems in the 20 years he’s been working for the county. Johnson said the county can start by having an open door policy.

One woman at the meeting said her granddaughter and daughter have complained about feeling sick from being on the bus. “At the end of the day complain about their head hurting and they’re sick they go straight to bed and my daughter she complains that there’s an odor, a smell when she gets on the bus.”

According to Kaden Jacobs with the Richmond County Board of Education, what they are smelling isn’t harmful. “They’re diesel buses, when diesel fuel burns it creates a smell, it’s no different than your car causing some exhaust smells, I would not be concerned about that.”

Some employees feel like their concerns aren’t being taken seriously when it comes to maintenance issues. Johnson says over the summer he was having mechanical problems with his bus that he made known, but months later it still wasn’t fixed. “I went to Mr. Porter (Sr. Director of Transportation) and I said it doesn’t make any sense we’re been out of school for two months and a week, why hasn’t my bus been fixed, it doesn’t make any sense.”

The Richmond County Board of Education says they are always looking to hear the issues to find solutions. “If any bus drivers have any concerns ever, they can bring those to the directors of transportation, they can bring them to me, to Dr. Pringle, whoever they want to bring them to and we will make sure they are addressed,” Jacobs said.

The bus drivers say they want the Transportation Council to make a comeback to the Richmond County Board of Education so their problems can be addressed more efficiently.

Copyright 2019 WFXG. All rights reserved.