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Students stranded by school bus no-show

Posted at 11:04 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 05:34:13-04

It's bad enough when the school bus runs late.

Some parents in Lansing called FOX 47 News when the bus didn't show up at all for the third time.

It happened again on Monday. Some Post Oak Academy students stranded for more than an hour when their bus didn't show up.

FOX 47 News' Alani Letang went to work for them.

"We tell the kids the bus is going to be here at X time and then the bus isn't, and they are learning that they can't trust the bus company, they can't trust the people who say they are going to be there," said parent Rebecca Froebe.

Froebe's three kids are supposed to get on the bus to Lansing's Post Oak Academy at 7:17 a.m.

"I can understand problems the first week or two. We are well into the school year, this is ridiculous. It's getting cold, especially in the morning before the sun is up, and no one seems to care," she said.

Parents are supposed to get a call if the bus is going to be more than 10 minutes late.

"They want children to wait out there with no robocalls until the parents call. It's not like these little kids have cell phones that the bus company is calling, and we can't trust the bus to arrive on time," Froebe said.

She said the bus has been late more often than it's been on time. After the third time it didn't show up at all, she had to quit taking shifts as a substitute teacher so she could drive her kids to and from school.

"I keep calling, other parents keep calling and we keep getting the runaround and our kids are missing out on their education," Froebe said.

She said she eventually took her concerns to Dean Transportation headquarters in Lansing.

"The supervisors did not know what was going on. The supervisors were shocked that they were not getting the information. And we found out that the people answering phones were transferring calls to each other," Froebe said.

Their bus has a picture of a seal on it so her kindergarten son knows what bus to take. It matches a picture clipped to his backpack, but said the bus is sometimes unmarked or labeled incorrectly.

"I want to know who's driving my children to school; I don't want to put my kids on the bus with someone who I have no idea who it is," said Froebe.

She said on Monday her children were driven home by the school bus labeled with a horse picture.

After FOX 47 News called, Dean Transportation released a statement apologizing for Monday's incident.

The company says the delay was caused by a regular driver not showing up for work. The statement says the driver has been suspended and is under investigation.

We've reached back out regarding the other times the bus was late or didn't show up.

"It's messing with their education, it's with my schedule, it's messing with other peoples schedules, it's making people late for work, it's making kids unable to get to school," Froebe said.

Dean Transportation has been working with the driver about previous absences and delays and believed the situation had been resolved, according to a statement.

The driver has been permanently removed from that route.

CEO Kellie Dean admits the company did not meet expectations and works to prevent any delays.

There's also a complaint that a bus driver played a religious service over the bus speakers. We're asking Dean Transportation about that as well.

We'll update this story as soon as we have any new information.