School bus company leaves preschooler for hours

School Bus Company Leaves Preschooler for Hours
School Bus Company Leaves Preschooler for Hours

Patrick Rosalia's family doesn't have a car, so when the school bus failed to pick him up earlier this week, the Buffalo, New York, student had to stay home from preschool.

"He passed the house, never came back," Patricia Rosalia told WKBW.

"The bus didn't show up," added her 4-year-old son, Patrick.

But that's not the only mishap Patrick faced this week.

The night before, the 4-year-old didn't get home until 6 p.m. His mother, Patricia, says the school told her there had been a staffing issue.

"Why was he left at school until 5? And his exact words were, 'We had no drivers.'"

First Student is the name of the bus company responsible for picking up and dropping off Patrick.

In a news release about its expansion in Buffalo last year the company announced it was looking to hire 200 bus drivers and monitors.

But the company told WKBW it was not a staffing issue that delayed buses, but rather difficulty navigating side streets in Buffalo. The city has seen some black ice in recent days. As for why Patrick was never picked up the next day - the school said simply in a statement that the driver "was unable to complete the run."

First Student is one of the biggest school bus companies in the U.S., operating buses in many school districts around the country.

The company came under scrutiny last year when an internal memo went public. It appeared to suggest that managers who found ways to cut costs would be rewarded.

"They're concerned with the bottom line. Dollars first, safety second," an anonymous employee told KMOV.

To that, First Student said safety of students was its highest priority, but that it was also responsible for being "cost-efficient." The company says it provides transportation to around 6 million students in the U.S. and Canada every day.

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