Sending your kid to school in their own private Uber is expensive—but a mom in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, had no choice but to order rides for her 8th grader.
Stephanie Carlbert said she’s spent around $300 since the start of January just sending her daughter Monica to school. Stephanie, who works as a cashier, is legally blind and isn’t able to drive her daughter to school herself. Monica hadn’t been able to get to school because her school bus is notoriously unreliable.
Stephanie told WFMY that the school bus either doesn’t come during its allotted time, or doesn’t show up at all. When she contacted the transportation department, she was told the previous driver had quit and that a substitute driver was working the route temporarily. In a two-month period, the mom paid for 16 Uber rides for her daughter to get to school.
Even when the bus does come, waiting in the winter cold is nothing short of unbearable.
“One morning it was 25 degrees and she was there for 52 minutes before the bus pulled up,” Stephanie said.
There was no improvement, even after Stephanie made several complaints to the school district. Some days, she said, she can’t afford to send Monica to school at all.
“To do the round-trip is about $20, and some of the days that I didn’t have the money I had to just let her stay at home,” the mom said.
Stephanie and Monica aren’t the only ones affected by the sporadic bus route. Monica said that once during this period, she counted only nine kids on the bus. “There was really no point of having a bus driver that morning,” she added.
Even worse, the school won’t cut her a break, even though it’s clearly not her fault that she’s late or absent. “It’s still counting against me even though it’s because of my bus,” Monica said.
Whatever the issue is, we hope they figure it out soon so parents like Stephanie can worry about more important things—not how their kids are going to get to school.