CMS Express Stop buses roll into the new school year

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District starts the new school year with a new transportation plan for magnet students.

Instead of door-to-door bus service, magnet school students will be picked up and dropped off at 42 Express Stops across the district, serving 12 schools.

After the first day of school on Monday, CMS said 80 percent of morning buses were on time, but traffic and car accidents impacted pick-up times for some stops.

A parent told Channel 9 that the bus was scheduled to pick up her kids at an Express Stop at 6:00 a.m. but arrived 40 minutes later.

When the Express Stop plan was approved and sent to parents, concerns and pushback forced CMS to add 16 consolidated stops.

Channel 9 spoke with a parent who organized a group to add one of these stops.

“The biggest thing was getting this stop here added to our original stuff. When we started it was either going to be at Palisades High School or Olympic. Both of those are a good three miles away from us. And not enroute to our job. So we are in a place now where we can get here easier,” she said.

Addressing the parental disapproval of the new plan, CMS Chief Operations Officer Brian Schultz said that the answer is not to place a stop in front of all students homes.

“We are going to hold to our commitments, to what we have committed on with these express stops, to make them within a reasonable distance from peoples homes,” Schultz said. “Then try to network them with local organizations or with activities that we’re doing here on our school sites, or connecting them with other parents who have carpool needs so they can rideshare with each other.”

CMS staff is spread across these stops for the first three days of school to help families transition to the new transportation method.

The project is an effort to help bus driver vacancies across the district.

Parents still wanting to provide feedback on the express stops plan are encouraged to call 980-343-6715.

(WATCH: CATS hosts hiring event for new bus drivers)

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

Almiya White

Almiya White, wsoctv.com

Almiya White is a reporter for WSOC-TV

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