Kristin Rice called bus drivers of Spring Grove Area School District the first line of defense for student safety.
"When bus drivers have concerns about safety, we should all be listening," said Rice of North Codorus Township. "We have a wonderful and expensive high school, but what good is that if (students) don't get there safely, or they're cold when they arrive or they had a (bus) breakdown."
Rice was among a group of bus drivers, parents and residents who told the district's school board their concerns about multiple safety issues with vehicles from Durham School Services, which provides transportation to district students.
The board decided Monday to cancel all bids for transportation contracts with plans to start again so the district can add safety requirements to the bidding process.
"I feel we were heard by the board," said Leroy Baumgardner, a bus driver and Spring Grove resident. "(Board members) voted to cancel all the bids — and not just Durham's — and start over. That's a good start."
However, the bus drivers will continue speaking out at the school board meetings until the safety issue is resolved, he said.
Safety issues brought up at the meeting included fuel leaks, nonfunctional heating units, the frequent use of "spare buses" as replacement for regular buses that need repairs, bus breakdowns on the way to school, and the district taking too long to authorize vehicular repairs.
There was no discussion on the recent decision by the union representing the bus drivers to authorize a strike.
—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at email@example.com.