HARLEM — A school bus stop that had been removed for a month, leaving kids to find their own way, will be restored after parents reached out to DNAinfo.
For the first month of the school year parents of students at East Central Park II school didn’t have a bus stop. The stop at 122nd Street and Lenox Avenue, which a dozen families have relied on for years, was abruptly shut down over the summer, parents said.
“We realized the first day of school that we didn’t have a bus,” said Nadhege Ptah. “They didn’t inform the parents so there was no planning. You can’t get to work at 9 o’clock in Brooklyn when you are dropping your child off at 8:20.”
Parents had to walk or drive their children one mile to 104th Street and Madison Avenue, with some of them arriving late for work.
“It becomes a real problem when the school is on the east side and your work is on the west side,” said Boyka Soto, a mother of two ECP II students.
Parents initially were unsure if the bus stop was permanently removed. They reached out to the school and the Department of Education for answers.
“Usually the first week of school is chaos so we said, ‘OK, let’s give them a week,’ but nothing happened,” said Asaad Maher, the father of two students.
The parents and the school sent repeated emails to the Department of Education about the bus stop. On Thursday morning they looped in DNAinfo and State Senator Bill Perkins’ office into the email chain.
DNAinfo reached out to the DOE at 11:15 a.m. and by 11:50 a.m. the bus stop had been restored.
The DOE confirmed that the bus stop has been resorted, but education officials would not say why it had been stopped or restarted.
“The stop has been rerouted at 122 & Lenox — it will be in place for Monday Morning,” wrote Alexandra Robinson, the executive director of the DOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation.
Some parents were disappointed that they had to reach out to elected officials and the media to get an answer from the DOE.
“It should’ve been back Friday, today is Thursday,” Ptah said. “Why did it take contacting the media for something to happen? We’ve been inquiring about this since September 9.”
Others were simply happy that the service was restored.
“I’m so glad, this is a huge relief for me,” Maher said.
The school's principal did not respond to questions about the bus stop.