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Waterbury parents upset at school bus company for poor transportation service

Parents with elementary school-aged children said the school buses have not showed up in the morning or the drivers drop students off at the wrong locations.

WATERBURY, Conn. — Parents in Waterbury are up in arms after the Durham Bus Services have been failing to pick up and drop off elementary school students.

"What?! This is the worst area to drop a 4-year-old off! I don’t even come through here!" said Sherri Delgado of Waterbury. 

West Main Street is where Delgado's niece was dropped off on the second day of school last week which is at least a 30-minute walk back to her home on Waterville Street.

The mother, Elizabeth Canady said had it not been for a kind stranger noticing her four-year-old daughter standing by herself in the highly trafficked area, the worst could have happened. 

RELATED: Connecticut bus driver shortage likely to impact another school year

"She just stayed right there. Someone’s parent looked at her tag that was on her and they called me and told me that my daughter was dropped off there and the bus driver just left her there," said Canady of Waterbury. 

Canady shared a picture of her daughter with FOX61 which showed her wearing a lanyard with a big sign stating her name and exact bus stop address. 

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"She said she was scared. She said she didn’t want to go back to school because she doesn’t like being lost," added Canady. 

Another parent on Wood Street stated not only does her daughter's bus drop her off at the wrong location, but it has not shown up at all in the morning. 

"She was late to school almost every day this week because her bus never came at all," said Tatanisha Williams of Waterbury. 

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Williams shared the same worry as others, that one day her child could be abducted. 

"My daughter, she’s like this big! She’s so tiny. Anybody can just snatch her and keep driving," added Williams. 

Waterbury Public Schools issued a statement in response to the bus service's performance: 

"Waterbury Public Schools currently has 119 bus drivers, with all 107 bus routes covered. Durham School Services did encounter a routing software issue last week but the subject has been rectified. All bus routes are subject to change daily throughout the school year due to traffic, weather, driving conditions, and new ridership. All bus times are approximate and the district works effortlessly to keep all bus routes running smoothly as anticipated."

FOX61 reached out to the corporate spokesperson of Durham Bus Services in Illinois and provided this statement via email: 

"We are in the midst of updating our current routing information and apologize for the inconvenience these route changes caused to affected families. We can confirm that some families experienced bus route irregularities in the last week.  Our team continues to work tirelessly with Waterbury Public Schools to minimize disruptions and delays to services as much as possible."

A phone call, email, and text message were sent to the Waterbury bus coordinator but no response was given. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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