Victor De La Cruz thinks AC Transit is screwing up a special route designed to take students to and from Newark public schools.
One day last year this bus failed to show up on the homeward run, stranding his daughter outside Newark Junior High.
So far this year the same has bus missed two pickups, he told Patch.
After the most recent foul up on Friday, De La Cruz emailed officials from AC Transit and other public agencies:
"This is UNNACEPTABLE. Either there is a service or there is not a service . . . after waiting for a bus that would not be showing up, my daughter of thirteen years old had to walk home for lack of that service."
He isn't alone.
When Patch asked whether other Newark parents had had similar experiences, these were among the replies:
- Cindee Lindholdt Burgess said: "I believe it is the 620 line, dedicated just to the school pick up and drop off. I have heard it also happens before school leaving the students with no way to school other than to walk and of course then they end up being late."
- Bernice Corcino added: "Yes and I keep getting calls from school telling me my son was absent due to him getting to school late because the bus shows up late or not at all. Very annoying."
- Alison Flemings Buliavac wrote:"This has been going on for years."
AC Transit board member Jeff Davis represents Newark on the transit agency's govering body.
He wrote De La Cruz promising that "this unfortunate incident" would be investigated and dealt with immediately.
Transit system spokesman Clarence L. Johnson said the problem last Friday owed to a misunderstanding.
AC Transit thought school was out, he told Patch. When it learned otherwise it dispatched a bus but, he added, some students may have given up waiting by the time it arrived.
As for the sporadic misses of which De La Cruz and other parents complain, Johnson said the agency does come up short-handed on occasion.
"A lack of financial resources has, among other things, forced unprecedented layoffs and downsizing that is ultimately reflected in overall levels of service we are able to provide," Johnson wrote Patch.
De La Cruz isn't mollified. He signs his emails "gunny" which is short for gunnery sergeant, the rank from which he retired after a career in the U.S. Marine Corps.
"I don't accept excuses," he said.
But he told Patch that he didn't want to come across as a hard . . . ahem.
Sure problems will arise but it's up to AC Transit administrators to solve them, he said.
His view is that at a time of elevated concerns over school safety, keeping a schedule with students ought to be at the top of the agency's list of priorities.
"I want to make sure this doesn't happen again," he said.
What do you think of the bus service to the schools?