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New Paramount bus route added

February 08, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - A new route has been added to relieve overcrowding on a school bus that serves Paramount Elementary School.

Washington County Public Schools officials learned Jan. 31 from the driver of bus No. 326 that it was overcrowded.

"I got a call from the bus driver saying that her bus was getting more crowded and could we help her," Transportation Supervisor Barb Scotto said. "The following day, I got an e-mail from a parent that claimed her son and another student had to stand."

Scotto said the school system wants all students to be seated while riding school buses.

She said 25 students were moved from bus No. 326 to a new route on Monday. Those students came from two bus stops, and there are about 40 students now riding bus No. 326.

Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the number of students on a bus can fluctuate daily and between the morning and afternoon rides.

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Buses typically have seating for 64 or 72 students, depending on the length of the bus and the number of rows, Scotto said.

Scotto said that as new housing developments are built in Washington County, the potential for buses to become overcrowded will increase. As officials learn of overcrowding on a bus, they react by creating new routes or altering existing routes, she said.

Officials said they were fortunate that a new route could be added to handle the overcrowded bus because it meant a new driver and an additional bus.

"With our bus driver shortage, that can be a challenge," Scotto said.

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