Waiting for a late bus isn’t unusual. What is unusual is being locked overnight inside an urban bus station for five hours while waiting for a bus.
At 8:40 a.m. Sunday, Kansas City police were called to the El Conejo Bus Lines, 501 Southwest Blvd., and were told that about 20 passengers had been locked inside the terminal, unable to leave.
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Company officials acknowledge that the doors were locked to keep the passengers safe.
The bus lines makes runs into Texas and Mexico, and its clientele is largely Mexican or Mexican-American.
Phil Robertson, an auxiliary driver for the lines, said the matter was largely a misunderstanding.
“They (the passengers) are upset. They’re frustrated and rightfully so,” he said.
Robertson explained that a bus bringing people from Omaha broke down Saturday night on the way to Kansas City, where passengers expected to make a 10 p.m. connection to points south. The passengers didn’t make it into Kansas City until about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, long after the connection had left.
The result was a long night inside the bus station. Robertson said the passengers were accompanied at all times by a bus line employee.
The call to police was made by passengers whose “complaints were valid.”
“It was a long, long wait,” Robertson said Sunday morning. “We’re serving them breakfast now.”