Mother Says Special Needs Bus Never Showed Up - KMSP-TV

Mother Says Special Needs Bus Never Showed Up

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Northeast Philadelphia -

Fox 29 is working to get results for a mom in Northeast Philadelphia with some transportation troubles. She says her son with special need's school bus shows up late or sometimes doesn't show up at all.

11-year-old Eric Staley who has Asperger's Syndrome and ADD takes the bus home from Fitzpatrick Elementary School each and every afternoon. So what's the problem? His mom says it's getting Eric to school each morning that's become an ordeal.

Sometimes he's sitting there for 2 1/2 hours not knowing whether the bus is coming in five minutes or ever.

His bus is dispatched at Byberry and Woodhaven in Northeast Philadelphia. Linda says service door-to-door for students with special needs had been fairly reliable until about two weeks ago. That's when she says the bus just never showed up.

"We were not called. We were not told of any issues or problems," Linda said.

The afternoon service home from Fitzpatrick continued uninterrupted, but on at least on half a dozen occasions, the morning bus never came, according to Linda.

Linda says she called the District Transportation Office and got a lot of excuses like budget cuts, shortage of drivers and shortage of buses.

Fox 29's Bruce Gordon called the school district and was told Fitzpatrick is aware of the problem, which they describe as a chronic lateness issues with the driver. The district reassured Bruce Gordon that they are trying to find a reliable replacement driver.

In the meantime, a little boy with special needs wonders why his bus stopped coming each morning.

"He thinks he did something wrong. He thinks that in his 11-year-old mind that I must have upset someone," Linda said, "They don't like me anymore. It's my fault. It's not his fault. He's 11."

Linda says when that bus fails to show she has to take Eric to school making her late for work.

We'll keep you posted on the district's attempts on getting the bus route properly staffed.

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