New bus service begins Monday in Waterloo Schools - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New bus service begins Monday in Waterloo Schools

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A major transition is underway at the Waterloo Community School District.  A new bus company officially starts serving students Monday after a string of repeated problems with the old bus company, First Student.

Kevin Casey is staying on as local bus manager, as the Waterloo Community Schools transition from First Student to Durham.  He took this job at a troubled time for First Student -- after multiple problems with service, and the former manager was arrested for fudging maintenance records.

Today, Casey's confident in the new company, and the changes it will bring.

"Overall the appearances of the bus are going to look better.  Newer buses are going to be on the road, cleaner buses, more comfortable buses, and ultimately safer buses for the students," Casey said.

The new fleet is equipped with added safety features, too, including three digital security cameras on each bus. Some First Student drivers have been re-hired, and several new drivers are undergoing training now.

If you're looking for a job, good news!  Durham is looking to hire 25 to 30 more drivers.  (Click here to apply.)

The new company knows it's tasked with a major challenge -- regaining the community's trust after the First Student fall-out.

"We want to assure people we're here to do a job.  We're here to do it correctly, to the best of our ability.  And if there is a problem, feel free to pick up the phone and call me anytime, and we'll address the issue immediately," Casey said.

That will help make sure it's a safe trip every time your kids board the bus.

Durham is also implementing a state-of-the-art ID card system on its buses.  All students will be logged electronically as they get on and off, to improve accountability.

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