Quantcast

First Student in Helena fined for failing to meet contract oblig - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

First Student in Helena fined for failing to meet contract obligations

Posted: Updated:
First Student has been transporting students in Helena since 2004. (MTN News photo) First Student has been transporting students in Helena since 2004. (MTN News photo)
Helena Superintendent Jack Copps. (MTN News photo) Helena Superintendent Jack Copps. (MTN News photo)
HELENA -

First Student has been transporting students in Helena since 2004, but now school district leaders say the company isn't meeting its contractual obligations.

First Student normally runs 61 bus routes in the Helena School District.

But Helena Superintendent Jack Copps says the company doesn’t have enough drivers right now to cover all those routes.

“That causes bus routes to be combined, that causes students to be late to their classes,” Copps said. 

District leaders say that means First Student isn’t fulfilling the terms of its contract.

For the past few weeks, the district has been fining First Student $500 per day.

Copps says if the company doesn’t find a solution for the shortage, the district might consider terminating the contract.

“We have expectations, they have obligations, and it is their obligation to provide us with the drivers necessary to run all of the routes that we have,” he said.

First Student, based in Ohio, operates school buses for more than a thousand school districts.

Representatives say across the country, an improving economy is making it harder to find drivers.

“People have more options, which is great for the employee, but unfortunately harder for us,” said company spokesman Jay Brock.

First Student has already taken steps to address the shortage in Helena.

“We’re covering the routes with some local people, we’re bringing in some people from some other locations to help supply that pipeline, and we also do have a number of drivers in the pipeline right now,” Brock said.

The company says it will take some time to get more drivers ready to take on local routes.

Drivers have to receive 50 hours of training and undergo a thorough background check.

“We just don’t bring people in and put them behind the wheel and say go,” Brock said.

Copps says the steps First Student has taken are a good start, but more work needs to be done.

He’d like to see the company consider offering higher wages.

“Eventually, there needs to be a permanent fix here, and we need to have some kind of guarantee that those drivers will be available for these buses,” Copps said.

Top Trending Videos

WEATHER
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Crews knock down wildfire near Livingston

    Crews knock down wildfire near Livingston

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:25 PM EDT2018-04-22 01:25:51 GMT

    LIVINGSTON - Crews are mopping up a wildfire in the Antelope Butte area near Livingston. According to a social media post by the Park County Sheriff’s Office, firefighters assisted by helicopter bucket work knocked the fire down at approximately 6:35 p.m. Emergency responders, ground crews and air support from Helena all responded to the fire. Winds made the work difficult. Homeowners had been warned of the fire, but no structures are reported damaged. No injuries have been r...

    LIVINGSTON - Crews are mopping up a wildfire in the Antelope Butte area near Livingston. According to a social media post by the Park County Sheriff’s Office, firefighters assisted by helicopter bucket work knocked the fire down at approximately 6:35 p.m. Emergency responders, ground crews and air support from Helena all responded to the fire. Winds made the work difficult. Homeowners had been warned of the fire, but no structures are reported damaged. No injuries have been r...

  • Search continues for missing woman

    Search continues for missing woman

    Friday, April 20 2018 12:28 PM EDT2018-04-20 16:28:14 GMT

    The search for a missing woman in the Bozeman area continues. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is still attempting to locate Danielle Diamond. Danielle was last seen on Nov. 27, 2017, at the Bozeman Public Library. 

    The search for a missing woman in the Bozeman area continues. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is still attempting to locate Danielle Diamond. Danielle was last seen on Nov. 27, 2017, at the Bozeman Public Library. 

  • U.S. Senate candidate’s hunting-license citation morphs into full-blown criminal case

    U.S. Senate candidate’s hunting-license citation morphs into full-blown criminal case

    Friday, April 20 2018 8:06 PM EDT2018-04-21 00:06:58 GMT
    U.S. Senate candidate Troy DowningU.S. Senate candidate Troy Downing

    Republican U.S. Senate candidate Troy Downing says he didn’t falsely portray himself as a resident when buying in-state hunting licenses for the past half-dozen years – and can’t believe the issue has become a full-scale criminal case in a Bozeman court. 

    Republican U.S. Senate candidate Troy Downing says he didn’t falsely portray himself as a resident when buying in-state hunting licenses for the past half-dozen years – and can’t believe the issue has become a full-scale criminal case in a Bozeman court. 

Powered by Frankly

© KBZK.com 2018, KBZK.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?