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Daye Transportation disputes bus inspections, says KC district was late in providing route info

Kansas City Public Schools’ bus drama continued as Daye Transportation disputed the district’s characterization of safety inspection results.
Kansas City Public Schools’ bus drama continued as Daye Transportation disputed the district’s characterization of safety inspection results. File image

The owner of Daye Transportation said over the weekend that results of safety inspections were mischaracterized and that Kansas City Public Schools was slow in providing the bus company route information for the upcoming school year.

Superintendent Mark Bedell and the district’s board of education on Friday announced that it would cut ties with Daye Transportation, which provides bus service to students at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. The district cited an inspection of the company’s bus fleet as the cause for dropping Daye Transportation as a vendor. The district earlier last week reported that some bus routes were late picking up students.

School district officials told The Star on Saturday that a Missouri Highway Patrol inspection resulted in eight of the 19 buses that were examined being pulled out of service, with another eight buses having “minor issues.” The district said three had fully passed inspection.

Patrick Daye, owner of Daye Transportation, disputed that characterization of the inspection results, saying only three were pulled out of service temporarily.

“It is believed that the incorrect characterization of (Friday’s) inspections lead (sic) Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell and the Board of Education to state that ‘in light of inspections made by the transportation commission today, we have decided to break our ties with Daye Transportation,’ ” Daye said in a statement issued through his attorney, Lee Cross Jr.

Sgt. Collin M. Stosberg of the Missouri Highway Patrol said Sunday that the patrol’s Motor Vehicle Inspection Division conducted a spot check at Daye Transportation on Friday morning and that of the 19 buses inspected, eight were placed out of service and eight other buses had minor issues that did not warrant being placed out of service.

Daye added it agreed in March to help the Kansas City school district cover route failures the district had been experiencing at the time. That led to the district asking Daye Transportation to cover 18 routes for the 2016-2017 school year, according to Daye. While Daye said his company normally requires that its clients provide route information by June 24, it didn’t receive the information until Aug. 8 and soon after got a request to add seven more routes on Aug. 15.

“Rather than abandon a customer, Daye Transportation attempted to help KCPS with additional routes, purchased additional buses, and did not receive the necessary routing information from KCPS until 6 p.m. Friday August 12, 2016,” Daye said in a statement. “Consequently, some problems arose on Monday August 15, 2016, when Patrick Daye and Daye Transportation scrambled to cover the extra routes and late arriving routing information. Yet, Daye Transportation did its best to accommodate its customer, help children and families get to school, and overcome circumstances beyond its control, or creation.”

District officials were not immediately available for comment.

Daye said he is exploring legal options, regretted any inconvenience for students and parents and retained the support of all its clients except Kansas City Public Schools.

Steve Vockrodt: 816-234-4277, @st_vockrodt

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