As many schools around the Bay go back in session this week, the number one concern dating all the way back to the end of last year, is buses.
Back in December, parents were concerned about the change of the routes and concerns were raised that a service would either not take their kids to school because the service was cancelled or stops would change.
As many students went back to school on Monday February 4, parents were still wary about the bus situation. They took to Facebook and local community pages to share their experiences and their frustration.
On Monday afternoon, SunLive received multiple phone calls about the school buses with parents saying that they had to leave work to pick up their kids because there was no bus for them to catch.
One parent says there were about 60 students waiting outside Tauranga Girls College and they had picked up their children as well as a handful of others to take home.
Another parent says her daughter had managed to catch the bus home, but the bus was so full that her son and an international student who is staying with them, had to pay for a bus to get them half way home but she still had to go and pick them up.
Bay of Plenty regional council and Passenger Transport Programme Leader Rachel Pinn says no school trips were dropped on Monday due to driver shortage.
“There was confusion amongst some students as to where the school bus pick up points were at Tauranga Girls,” says Rachel.
“A bus was waiting on Cameron Road while some students were waiting at 23rd Ave. The 086 and 807 routes leave from Cameron Road, the other services leave from the school bus bay.”
Rachel says it has been re-enforced with drivers that all the Welcome Bay Free trial services are free.
“We are aware that there have been some issues with school services over the last few days and we are working hard with NZ Bus to resolve these issues, and we are confident that the school bus routes will settle down as drivers become familiar with the various routes and timetables.
“On Monday, with the majority of schools back, 230 students used the buses as part of the Welcome Bay Free School Bus Trail.”
One hundred and nine students used it in the morning and 121 in the afternoon.