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MSU students left stranded along Canadian highway after bus breakdown

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Posted at 5:10 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 05:40:00-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Members of a group at Michigan State University want their money back after a horrific bus ride home over the weekend.

More than 30 students, both Spartans and Wolverines, were left stranded on the side of the road on a trip to Canada.

Fed-up with not getting any answers from the bus company, the group reached out to FOX 47 for help.

"They had no protocol on what to do when we were in a foreign country. They left 33 college students on the side of the road," said Jillian Riney, of the MSU International Relations Organization.

Over the weekend, the organization attended a conference in Montreal, Canada along with 10 students from the University of Michigan. The event itself was successful, but it was the ride back to Michigan on Sunday night that really took a turn.

"The bus pulled over and was broken down. From there we sat for five hours on the side of the highway with very little communication given to us from U.S. Coachways," Riney said.

Riney was the person responsible for setting up travel arrangements for the organization. When she called U.S. Coachways for help, she felt they had no answers.

"U.S. Coachways really let us down in that aspect. They didn't provide any support so it was really hard for me to give my team answers," Riney said.

After almost 24-hours, the group eventually made it back to the state Monday afternoon, exhausted and looking for answers for the way the bus service was handled.

Nick Cianciaruso, director of operations of U.S. Coachway, did not want to speak on camera but said the company takes pride in safety and customer service.

Shortly after FOX 47 began investigating the situation, U.S. Coachway said they will offer a 50% reimbursement to the group. However, the group feels that isn't enough.

"The situation was handled super poorly and if they expect us to sit by and take it because we're college kids then that's absolutely not the case. We will be fighting this every step of the way," Riney said.

The group said they're still hoping to get a full reimbursement from the company.

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