Bus a move

City school district defends new, busy bus lot that some South Sacramento residents are complaining about

Several South Sacramento residents are upset about what they describe as a noisy, fuming school bus lot near their homes.

Construction of the bus lot on San Joaquin Street began in March 2018, with buses up and running for the last six months.

One of the more vocal residents, Veronique Hanna, said she raised concerns more than a year-and-a-half ago, but didn’t get the response she wanted from Sacramento City Unified School District officials.

“I would say, ‘Please come to my house so I can show you [the noise and smells].’ And I would be told back that they didn’t need to come to my house,” Hanna said. “It was like being a little kid in the principal’s office. I followed the rules. And part of the anger is that what you’re seeing, smelling, feeling isn’t attributed [to the bus lot.]”

Hanna and other residents estimate 200 buses go in and out of the bus lot four times a day—and that was before the school year started.

When asked what actions have been taken by the district since a July meeting with concerned residents, SCUSD spokesman Alex Barrios wrote in an email that “Sac City Unified is doing everything it can to be a good neighbor” and that it is “already working to mitigate some neighbor’s concerns regarding lighting and noise,” with a commitment to “continue working with the neighborhood on solutions.”

Despite neighbors’ complaints, Barrios said that the bus lot has been “very beneficial” to the community because with it the district is “able to provide better and more reliable transportation services to our students and families.”