Big Fine for Laidlaw

Bus company hit with $50,000 penalty.
Bus company hit with $50,000 penalty.

They're hitting Laidlaw, the bus company for Savannah-Chatham public schools, where it hurts. In the wallet. You've heard the complaints about the school buses: students told to raise a railroad crossing gate, or kids standing as punishment.

As part of the company's contract, Savannah-Chatham principals review Laidlaw performance every year. If the rating falls below 85 percent, they pay a $50,000 fine.

So it's costing them for the second year in a row. Late buses are the biggest complaint.

"But I will tell you, I have clear and unequivocal evidence that there have been instances where Laidlaw has been directly at fault, because there have been no drivers on the road or drivers didn't leave on time to pick students up and those are unexcused," said acting schools superintendent George Bowen.

Laidlaw's set up a ten-point plan to improve service, including a complaint hotline, crackdown on driver misconduct, and daily bus inspections.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com