LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's a tough situation for the Lufkin ISD Transportation Department - dealing with budget cuts and more riders this year. The situation causing frustration among parents.
"I was thinking about calling the police first to document it in case she did go missing they could put out an Amber Alert," said Rebecca Davidson, parent of 3 bus riders.
On the first day of school, parents shouldn't be worrying about a missing child. Yet, it was the reality for Davidson when her 10 year-old daughter didn't get off the bus Monday afternoon.
"She never showed up," said Davidson.
The bus slowed, but didn't stop where her daughter was supposed to get off.
"I couldn't get through to the bus barn - the lines were busy. That really made me panic," said Davidson.
The school was finally able to make contact with LISD's Transportation Department. They had to radio all of the bus drivers to finally find her.
"On Monday, my daughter did not get home until 5:08," said Davidson.
She's not the only parent with complaints.
"It's just been a wild, wild crazy year," said Kelly Wesley, LISD Transportation Director.
Transportation Director Kelly Wesley says budget cuts compounded with about 500 more bus riders this year has created a chaotic bus situation.
"One of the ways that unfortunately has parents upset is because we've had to merge some stops," said Wesley.
In past years, most bus drivers dropped kids off right in front of their homes or close to it.
Another large kink the transportation department is trying to work out is super full buses including some with three or four students to a seat.
"We have right now about 6 buses that are overcrowded. We're having to send kids off buses and put them on other buses," said Wesley.
Despite the problems, Wesley assures parents that safety is top priority.
"Myself as a parent I would be concerned and we so look at our stops. If there's any registered sex offenders we will adjust accordingly," said Wesley.
They're working continuously on getting the routes right, and hopes parents, like Davidson, can be patient in the meantime.