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Parents inquire about better ways to communicate Durham bus delays

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- As the school year wraps up, some Shelby County School parents hope that bus provider, Durham School Services, uses the summer to consider making communication improvements.

Parent Penny Aronson said she cannot help but worry when the bus carrying her daughter runs late.

She said that since her daughter started at Mt. Pisgah Middle this year, bus pick-up and drop-off has been inconsistent.

Parent Kiana Lee said that when her child's bus route experiences delays, "we have to go through transportation, and that can be a hassle."

Aronson said she never heard back from Durham when she suggested communication improvements.

She said that after a quick search, she found several bus tracking apps.

"It's absolutely possible for them to have some form of texting or app or just some method of communication to let me know when she's going to be picked up or when she's going to arrive," Aronson said.

WREG asked Durham about the possibility of implementing these kinds of changes.

Durham told WREG it has been testing a bus tracker app for the first time this school year in smaller communities.

It will study the results to see if it is worth bringing to bigger districts.

Right now, Durham said it is up to schools to contact parents when buses are running more than five minutes late.

SCS said principals do contact parents when it knows about issues.

Durham confirms it has had a few employees quit, given the end of the school year.

It said some routes have doubled up, and there have been some late pick-ups and drop-offs.

A spokesperson said the doubling up of routes has not affected school arrivals.

Aronson said in terms of improvement, communication is an easy place to start.

Durham told WREG students may carry and use cell phones on buses.

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