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OCPS to add more buses after video shows students sitting on floor of school bus

Officials investigate after Lake Nona High School students report crowding on bus

News 6 at 6a
News 6 at 6a

LAKE NONA, Fla. – Orange County Public Schools told News 6 they were adding more buses to routes after students were forced to sit on the floor while riding to Lake Nona High School. But on Tuesday, the same bus arrived at the stop and the situation had not changed.

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Although the district told News 6 that more buses would be added Tuesday, the senior director of transportation is now working to get a third bus approved for that route starting Wednesday.

School officials looked into the matter after News 6 received complaints from parents of students riding bus 3105. Students took video and photos with their cellphones to show they have been sitting in the back, on  the floor of a bus designated for kids in wheelchairs with no seat belts, restraints or visible safety precautions.

Students told News 6 there were 30 people in seats and another 10 on the floor in the back for the past two weeks of school.

In an email to News 6, OCPS said on Friday, "with late summer address changes and the increase in population in Orange County, occasionally we have routes where more riders intend to ride than were planned ... Based on the information brought to our attention, OCPS will review this route today and make any necessary adjustments."

OCPS said they would be adding three more buses to the route, "including the bus stop near Lee Vista and Goldenrod beginning Tuesday."

On Tuesday morning, the same bus with limited seating arrived and two students got off of the bus after boarding.

"Apparently the kids got on the same bus, the handicap bus 3105," said Kim Hansen. "No room so the bus driver made them, you saw a couple of students, get off because there's no room they have to get off the bus so apparently OCPS did not fix this problem."

Two of the student told News 6 that they couldn't sit on the floor because there is cameras so they got off the bus. 

News 6 contacted OCPS, which said in a statement, "We are looking into it. Just so you know school buses are designed to sit three students per seat." 

"Basically everyone gets on the bus, you pile on and then you see who's the remainder and those people usually try to sit on the floor in the back or try to squish on 3 to a seat which is not really reasonable," Hansen said. "I'm going to probably have to find someone to help carpool my daughter to school until this is solved because it's unsafe."

Check back for more on this story.