‘They’re always late:’ Lakeside bus company facing backlash from parents

MILWAUKEE -- A number of parents are frustrated over the tardiness of their children's school bus and it all seems to lead to the same company. In some cases, parents tell FOX6 News their child is not being picked up at all.

In the last week, FOX6 News has received phone calls, emails and messages from parents with children enrolled in area public and private schools related to troubles with Lakeside bus.

"They're always late. If not picking the kids up, it's [late] dropping them off," said a parent of a Milwaukee Public Schools' student.

Parents say the bus company is making their kids "continually late to school," or bringing kids home way too late. Other parents said the bus never came, leaving them frustrated.

"If there's so many complaints left and right about the bus company, something has to be done," said the parent of a Milwaukee Public Schools' student.

A Milwaukee father says his daughter attends Benjamin Franklin School. his daughter used to regularly ride with Lakeside Bus. However in 2017, she was dropped off in the wrong neighborhood in the middle of winter. She was only 6 years old.

"She was out there for two hours. She was finally found by a stranger," said the parent of a Milwaukee Public Schools' student.

FOX6 News spoke with the child's mother who describes the scenario as traumatizing and unsettling. It still haunts them. They filed a civil suit against the bus company.

"The children's safety is number one thing of all," said the parent of a Milwaukee Public Schools' student.

We reached out to Lakeside Bus company Wednesday, March 6 for answers on the gaps in drop-off and pickup times but haven't received a response.

Lakeside Bus is among the nine bus contracts Milwaukee Public Schools utilizes for their students.

As one of the largest districts around, FOX6 News asked them if they've noticed a problem. MPS shared the following response:

"The bus driver shortage is a national problem that MPS is well aware of, and we are continually working on solutions for our families and students. We sometimes experience these issues with buses, but we consider ourselves fortunate because we understand that other districts and states are more greatly impacted at this time.

Getting our students to school safely and on time is a major priority, so we continue to proactively seek solutions for our families.

In MPS, we contract with nine bus companies plus three van companies, two taxi companies, and the Milwaukee County Transit System to diversify our transportation fleet and mitigate common issues."

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