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Buses an hour late again at Kansas City’s Lincoln College Preparatory Academy

Over the first two days of the academic year, Kansas City Public Schools has been having bus troubles.
Over the first two days of the academic year, Kansas City Public Schools has been having bus troubles.

When school let out Tuesday afternoon at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City, school district officials were pleased to see buses had arrived on time.

All but one bus, that is.

But the school was prepared and had water and snacks ready for students who had to wait longer than planned for their bus.

Late buses have disrupted the first two days of school at Lincoln Prep in the Kansas City school district.

District officials were at the school Tuesday afternoon with high expectations after having several meetings with the bus companies on contract with the district and getting promises from them that the bus problem would be solved.

Many Lincoln Prep students got a late start Monday, the first day of school, and again Tuesday morning when school buses ran as much as an hour behind schedule. Groups of students were left standing at neighborhood bus stops, and others were driven to school by parents.

Even the district’s new superintendent, Mark Bedell, had to drive his two children who attend Lincoln Prep to school when their bus did not show up.

The ride home Monday was another mess, when “five bus drivers did not show up,” said Natalie Allen, district spokeswoman. The missing buses were from Daye Transportation, which is contracted by the district to handle bus transportation for Lincoln Prep.

Bus transportation for other schools in the district is handled by First Student.

Daye officials were not available to comment Tuesday .

Bedell, his cabinet, the bus companies and TransPar, which manages bus routes for the district, met Monday night to iron out the student pick-up problems. First Student agreed to give the district five additional buses, “and we were assured this would not happen again,” Allen said.

Then Tuesday morning, buses were an hour late again.

“Ultimately, this is impacting student learning,” Allen said. “We are doing everything in our power to get kids to school on time and safely. Right now, this is unacceptable.”

Allen said Kansas City Public Schools board members also have worked with district officials to fix the bus problem.

Bedell will continue to monitor the bus service and is stationing workers from TransPar at Lincoln to help straighten out any wrinkles in the scheduling or travel time as new drivers adjust to new routes.

“We are working tirelessly to get this right, and we will not stop until every student who rides a bus gets to school and taken home on time,” Bedell said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc

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