At least 160 MPS bus routes canceled on first day back for in-person instruction

NOW: At least 160 MPS bus routes canceled on first day back for in-person instruction

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – What was supposed to be a return to a sense of normalcy for some Milwaukee Public Schools students and parents ended up being a chaotic situation as there was widespread bus route cancellations across the district on the morning of April 14.

Parents at MPS schools received communications from principals informing them of 80 buses and 160 bus route cancellations on Wednesday morning. CBS 58 obtained one such message sent to parents at the German Immersion School.

One parent who did not want to speak on camera told CBS 58 Hawley Environmental School left parents affected by the cancellations with options like remaining virtual, even though they had wanted to go back to in-person, arranging other transportation or be excused until transportation was arranged. All those options, the parent told CBS 58, were unacceptable.

MPS released the following statement on the issue:

“MPS has resolved many of the transportation issues stemming from the first day of in-person learning. The district has contacted all affected families and schools through multiple outlets of communication. Families are encouraged to first contact their child’s school to verify the bus company made the stop. If problems persist, the district will work with both the bus company and the school to provide emergency services to students and families.”

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also commented on the situation during a video conference on Thursday.

“It was like the first day of school, and it’s not unusual, it’s unfortunate but it’s not unusual that at the beginning of the school year you’re going to have busing issues,” Barret said. “The Milwaukee Public Schools is very, very proactive to attending to those issues, they know it has to be resolved and I’m confident that they’ll work out all those busing issues.”

MPS works with seven bus services. Two of them returned inquiries for comment, including MCTS and Wisconsin Central. Both said they did not have cancellations. Others did not return requests for comment.

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