Old HISD buses may soon be back in service; drivers worried

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by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on September 13, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 13 at 10:20 PM

HOUSTON -- Some local school bus drivers have big concerns this weekend. They say more than a dozen old, retired buses could soon go back into service in the Houston Independent School District as soon as next week.

Sources said the work is scheduled to take place at the district’s bus yard on Winfree Drive. Mechanics plan to work overtime.

Wretha Thomas, President of the Local Union of School Bus Drivers, is worried.

“It’s a safety hazard to our kids,” Thomas said.

She is concerned about the bus drivers too.

“If something happens, the bus drivers are going to get the blame,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the buses are made by a company called Carpenter and were retired about 15 years ago. Officials with the district assured her they will only be used as spares until new buses arrive later this year.

But Thomas said that is not good enough.

“Them buses are dead,” Thomas said. “They need to leave them in the [bus] cemetery and just use them for parts.”

It is still not clear which routes in the H.I.S.D. are likeliest to be impacted should the refurbished buses go back into service.

Calls and e-mails to the H.I.S.D. for a response Friday went unreturned.

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