bobb on bus Late School Bus Keeps Bobb WaitingIf you’re late for your first day of school, that’s bad. When you are in charge of the Detroit school district  and the bus you are riding is 30 minutes late, that’s worse. 

That’s what happened to Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb Tuesday morning. The plan was to ride a bus to make sure the routes were running smoothly for the first day of class. But his 7:15 a.m. bus did not show at the stop on Detroit’s lower east side until 7:42 a.m. at the corner of Mitchell and E. Forest. He was waiting with two children, their parents and guardians. 

“They [the students] were here on time. It’s not their fault…Someone will have to pay for not being here on time,” he said. 

Bobb said the district’s transportation department will hear from him “loudly and clearly.” 

Bobb said he is glad he did not announce what bus he would be riding so he would get a first-hand account of the bus system’s performance. 

According to the company that provides bus service to the school, there was a mix-up of keys at the garage. 

Bobb said this does not help his efforts to make the district more attractive to prospective students or their parents. 

“We spent a lot of time recruiting students to come into our school system,” Bobb said. “It doesn’t speak to confidence. We’re spending $20 million for students’ transportation.” 

Bobb is travelling throughout the district to highlight the changes and improvements made in the district to beef up curriculum and instruction. It would appear his schedule has been altered by a set of misplaced keys. 

“It’s not the driver who will hear from me but the supervisor who will hear from me,” he said. 

The district has set an enrollment target this fall of 77,314 students, which is more than a thousand fewer than attended Detroit schools last spring. The troubled district also faces a budget deficit of $363 million.
(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio.  All Rights Reserved.)

  1. RSullivan says:

    It was the first day of school! I went to school in an affluent New England town where we prided ourselves on education. There, too, bus drivers were notoriously late on the FIRST DAY. It happens! For Robert Bobb to be all up-in-arms over this shows that he’s not focusing on the real issues, and is looking for scapegoats. Poor driver will probably lose his job, too, over one man’s impatience and inability to sympathize.

    1. JT says:

      Good for Robert Bobb. We’ve praised mediocrity for far too long.

    2. JamesG says:

      “It’s not the driver who will hear from me but the supervisor who will hear from me,” he said.

  2. Bussy Bubby says:

    If bus drivers are late on the first day of school, just fire them. Fire them all.

  3. tb says:

    “$20 million dollars”?

    Surely he didn’t actually say “20 million dollars dollars”?

    Proofread much?

  4. obbop says:

    Shiat happens.

    Let safety come first.

    When boo boos happen apologize and make honest attempts to prevent their reoccurring.

    Americans are becoming extremely spoiled.

    Let us commit ourselves to slowing down the pace of life for all.

    And start with the demanding all-powerful corporations whose immense power over all aspects of life in the USA MUST be reduced.

    Power to the PEOPLE!!!!!!! The citizens.

    A pox on the corporations and the judiciary that keeps increasing corporate power.

    1. likwidshoe says:

      This article is about a government run school system’s failure in a loooong list of failures and you’re yammering on about corporate power? Unfreakinbelievable!

  5. brain says:

    Lucky kids! when I went to school, it was 500 degrees below zero, uphill, against the wind, 20 miles, walking! And the same thing going home!! 500 degrees below zero, uphill, against the wind, 20 miles, walking!

  6. Rsanford says:

    The fact of the matter is that the bus was late, not 5 or 10 mins, 30 min! Plain and simple. The supervisor should have been prepared for the “First Day” scenario. A school bus should never be 30 mins late picking up CHILDREN, unless emergency (accident, storms..). Regardless of Bobb’s motive or intent, this seem unacceptable to me.

  7. Tom says:

    As a school bus driver I can tell you that we expect the first day of school to be a bit of a mess. The #1 rule is “Don’t panic”. That means that we drive safely and do the best we can. If we are running late we call dispatch. They call the school and let them know what to expect. The bus is not missing in action.

    Once we get to be about 10 minutes late, every parent on every stop wants to have a long conversation about why we are running late and what to expect in the future, not to mention little Billy’s peanut allergy and grandma will be waiting for him after school. Now the delay is building up, but see rule #1 above.

    Bottom line. All the kids got to school safely. That’s our focus. It’s not a factory production line. It’s a complicated, difficult job. In a few days everything will be running a lot more smoothly. Mr. Bobb got his name in the paper for doing something. It was low hanging fruit. Time to get on the ladder and get to work.


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