Laidlaw's 30 Days Are Up - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/28/06

Laidlaw's 30 Days Are Up

The Savannah-Chatham County school board could reach its decision on Laidlaw at tomorrow's board meeting. So, what do Laidlaw officials and bus drivers have to say about the potential board vote and all the recent complaints surrounding the company?

Laidlaw officials say they are doing what they can to make changes the school board wants, and are working closely with the school system to address the parents' issues and improve their services.

A month ago, assistant school superintendent Col. George Bowen gave Laidlaw 30 days to improve or he was going to recommend that the school board terminate the contract. Those 30 days are up.

But there is progress. "Were trying to resolve some of the issues," said Dr. Thomas Lockamy, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools superintendent. "The system is a large system and we are moving kids all over the place and we anticipate some problems."

Dr. Lockamy says the board is working with Laidlaw to resolve parents' concerns about buses continuously running late or not showing up at all. Lockamy says he is evaluating the company and its performance and will soon make a decision whether to keep the contract with Laidlaw.

But Laidlaw says they are already making changes. Just in the last couple of weeks, they have brought in 17 new bus drivers to address the shortage problem and say they are planning to hire more drivers in the coming weeks.

"I think Laidlaw is working on the problem and I haven't gotten the final report, so I haven't made a decision yet," said Dr. Lockamy.

The school board is scheduled to meet tomorrow, and even though Laidlaw is not on the agenda for discussion, Col. Bowen says the topic could come up and a potential decision could be made.

Reported by: Brooke Kelley, bkelley@wtoc.com

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