Local school districts reevaluate bus contracts after News 4's First Student investigation


by Lauren Trager / News 4 | @LaurenTrager


Posted on February 12, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 8:32 AM

(KMOV) – News 4 received an almost endless supply of calls and emails from bus drivers and parents telling News 4 about serious safety issues on First Student.

But now, News 4’s Lauren Trager obtained letters from two schools districts, Ritenour and Rockwood, saying something’s got to give or a whole lot of your tax dollars might get yanked away from First Student.

“He has said the quality has been unacceptable; it doesn’t meet his expectation for safe, efficient transportation,” said Kim Cranston, a spokesperson for Rockwood Schools.

Cranston said Superintendent Dr. Terry Adams is frustrated and very disappointed by bus contractor First Student.

For weeks, News 4’s Lauren Trager has been reporting about claims from around the state of constant break-downs, bad brakes, broken safety equipment, and generally disgusting and dangerous conditions.

“I think the issue is that the problem has continued,” said Cranston.

Related: First Student VPs address issues of bus maintenance, student safety

Rockwood had to cancel classes last month because so many of their First Student buses simply wouldn’t start.

Then Monday, they were slapped with a surprise inspection from the state.

The results aren’t in yet, but a number of the buses were not even allowed to leave the lot, let alone transport kids.

First Student officials say they are working to resolve the issues. District leaders will meet with them this week.