Bus vendor blamed for issues in Philly school district

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Some families relying on buses in the Philadelphia School District are outraged over ongoing problems.

The school bus issues are impacting students at more than 20 schools.

That includes Caroline and Ted Waters and their grandson, Brandon Coleman.

They waited and waited, but his school bus never came on Wednesday morning, Thursday morning or Friday morning.

Even more troubling: the junior at Frankford High School severely mentally challenged.

When asked what the district has been telling him, Ted Waters said he was told "'There is no bus available, the route has been cancelled, the driver quit.'"

Ted Waters says he's getting the run-around. What makes him even angrier: after taking his grandson to school last Wednesday, they allegedly said Brandon would be bused home. But, two hours after school ended, Waters got a call.

"I got a call from the school around five o'clock: 'Come get him. You dropped him off, we are not responsible for getting him home. I said, 'no you are responsible,'" Waters said.

Waters didn't have a car available.

He says the school told him that Brandon would be dropped off at the 15th police district, but that didn't happen.

The family ended up filing a missing person's report when they couldn't find Brandon.

Then, at 7:30 that night, a bus pulled up with Brandon.

"The school never once called me back and said 'we found a bus to bring him home," said Waters.

The school district released a statement to Action News that reads, in part:

'This one bus vendor, which we are currently assessing penalties for, has fallen short on 25 bus routes affecting performance to about 23 schools. This situation is unacceptable for parents, children and the School District of Philadelphia.'

That vendor primarily provides service to students with special needs.

As for Brandon, he was picked up on Monday morning, though it was an hour-and-a-half late.
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