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Ames District Dealing with School Bus Issues

AMES, Iowa — The Ames School District is trying to work out the bugs in its busing system after a hectic first day Thursday.

Associate Superintendent Mandy Ross said it’s typical to have hiccups at the beginning of the school year, but this year the problems are a bit more extensive. Ross said one problem is the length of time kids are spending on the bus. Some are on the bus for over an hour.

Pick-up times have also been off, causing kids to miss the bus.

The district and the bus company, Durham School Services, plan to meet next week to continue working on the issues.

Durham has provided bus service for the Ames District for several years and this isn’t the first time there have been problems.

Last September the company dropped off four kids at the wrong stops in just one week. The district and the bus company met, and changes were made.

But Ames isn’t the only district to have problems with the company. A male driver in Waukee was pulled from his route last September after he took photos of students and asked two girls to give his contact information to their teachers.

In May, the company was sued by an Iowa City family after the bus driver failed to secure a student’s wheelchair properly. The girl was thrown from the chair.

Last September we talked to a former Durham employee who drove in the Waukee District. She said the company is disorganized and invested little time in its drivers.

“They threw me on the route with no dry run or nothing. They gave me a route sheet my route is supposed to start at 9:44 they gave me a route sheet at 9:39 and says you better hurry,” she said.

That driver quit Durham. She hoped to find a new company to work for.

1 Comment

  • Sue

    sure seems like there were a lot less problems when the school buses belonged to, and were driven by, the school. My dad was a bus driver for years and never had a problem putting kids off in the wrong place or anything.

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