Texts/email updates: Duval County bus delay warning begins Monday

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. – On Monday, Nov. 14, Duval County Public Schools rolled out a new way to notify families when their child’s school bus was running late.

It’s an issue News4JAX received calls about almost daily.

The district said the goal is to boost communication. Between Durham School Services and Student Transportation of America – the district has a contracted fleet of more than 850 buses.

It’s a lot of moving pieces and the district said it is still dealing with a driver shortage which contributes to delays.

Both contractors said they’ve been experiencing shortages. News4JAX is working to get an update on where staffing stands now, but the district said it wants to make sure parents have the quickest information possible.

Going forward, some families will get direct messages through text and email when their child’s bus is more than 30 minutes late.

One message example said: “Bus Delay! If you’re receiving this text, your child’s bus is delayed for more than 30 minutes.”

It will include a link to the district’s bus delay page – which lists routes – and how many minutes they’re behind.

The page also said whether there is a backup bus available or not. Families are only going to get this message if their child is eligible and registered to ride the bus, which parents can do in their FOCUS account.

While this message system launches Monday, the district is only testing it on certain, specific routes this week.

That means it’s still a good idea to check the bus delay webpage even if they don’t get a text message.

About the Author:

Joe covers education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.