McKeesport School District proposing new contract to alleviate bus route issues

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Daily for the last school year, posts have popped up on the McKeesport School District Facebook page about bus routes being cancelled.

“Thousands of children were unable to attend school due to buses being cancelled daily,” said Dr. Mark Holtzman, the McKeesport superintendent.

Parents reached out to Channel 11 for help as their kids couldn’t get to school. We found that the bus company, PA Coach Lines, didn’t have enough drivers and would cancel the routes just hours before the buses were set to arrive.

“We knew it was happening and there was not a whole lot we could do we really were coming up with ways to transport children in our own vehicles, but it wasn’t enough to support the hundreds of children missing school daily,” Holtzman said.

Because the district was in a contract with the transportation company, the only option was to go to court.

Now the district can break that contract and work with a new bus company for the next school year.

“It was awful. It was awful for the kids and the families. The families have to go to work, and kids can’t go to work. They are trying to engage in school in other ways but as we know online learning and google classroom are nice resources but aren’t solid primary educational tools,” Holtzman said.

The school board is now proposing a 6-year contract with Krise Transportation out of Penn Hills that would start in June.

The school board is expected to hold the final vote to approve the new bus company at next Wednesday’s board meeting.