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.
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.”