In Prince George’s Co., a new year may bring new school bus routes

With full backpacks and fresh school supplies, the other factor in D.C.'s alleged "Terrible Tuesday" is set to join the morning's rush-hour fray. (Thinkstock)(Getty Images/Purestock/Purestock)
WASHINGTON — The first day of school can be an exciting and somewhat-anxious time for kids and parents as they establish a routine for the new school year.

For thousands of students in the Prince George’s County school system, that routine includes catching the school bus. But each year can bring changes with new routes or added stops.

In order to ensure that parents can get their child to the right stop at the right time — and to clear up any issues — the school system has a transportation phone bank that operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 301-952-6570.

In addition, the school’s website includes a link to bus routes and stops, as well as a school bus FAQ and this year’s bell times.

The Prince George’s County Public Schools’ transportation webpage explains that while a child may start the school year at one school bus stop, adjustments to the route could be made within weeks of the start of school due to possible changes in enrollment.

Parents are also advised to make sure that their child’s school has the correct information regarding the student’s home address. School bus stops are designed to be within a half-mile from a student’s home.

Every year, school systems across the region compete for bus drivers. Prince George’s County Public Schools’ CEO, Kevin Maxwell, said there’s a degree of churn in staffing patterns.

“It’s a real problem in the entire DMV area,” he said.

When it comes to attracting and retaining bus drivers, Maxwell said, “we find that some of our folks come in, they get trained, they get some experience and they jump to Metro or other places.”

One way to attract drivers, Maxwell said, is to offer pay for their training.

“It comes down to being competitive” he said.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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