Mom waited 1 hour at bus stop for kids to come home but they never showed up
Published Wednesday, September 7, 2016 10:23PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, September 8, 2016 10:10AM EDT
There was some panic among parents on the first day of school yesterday after some young students weren't dropped off at their bus stop as planned.
One Willowdale mom said she was terrified when her two kids -- ages 3 and 7 -- still didn't show up at the bus stop after an hour of waiting.
Mary Sagharian, a producer with CTV News, said she called the school and the bus company but no one could tell her where her children were.
“It was a frightening 60 minutes that I hope no other parent will experience,” she said. “They have no idea where my kids are. At one point my husband left and jumped in his car and started cruising the streets to see if the bus had broken down.”
The school eventually called to let her know they were able to reach the driver and her children were going to be dropped off back at school.
When the school bus company called Sagharian back, they said they didn't receive the correct drop-off information from the school board. However, when Sagharian called Tuesday morning to confirm a drop-off plan for her children, the board had the correct stop listed.
The Toronto and Catholic District School Boards were flooded with complaints from other parents who had a similar experience yesterday.
John Yan, a spokesperson for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, told CTV News Toronto a bus driver shortage was to blame for some of the issues.
“Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a unique and unprecedented situation,” he said.
The Transportation Consortium, which provides bussing to the two boards, said they are short 60 bus drivers, affecting thousands of students. A spokesperson for the company told CTV News Toronto that a week ago, they were certain there would be enough drivers on the road but when they started to assign routes to drivers a few days before the start of the school year, it was clear there was a shortage that the bus companies failed to mention.
The TDSB alerted parents about the problem on their website today.
The boards are working together to figure out a plan for the next few weeks as new drivers are trained. In the meantime, Yan said some of the staff at school tried to help out.
“Principals, VPs were “actually picking up students and driving them home,” he said.
But on Wednesday, the second day of school, another parent said she was left waiting again for her daughter to be dropped off.
“She’s in Grade 2. She’s this little girl and I’m really scared,” she said.
Today, Sagharian said she was happy to pick up her kids herself and drive them home safely.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Naomi Parness