DALLAS — Transportation woes at one Dallas Independent School District bus stop on Grand Avenue continued for a second day.
On the first day of school, parents expressed confusion and experienced delays as familiar yellow DISD buses were joined by minivans, sport utility vehicles and even sedans to transport children.
Tuesday, a similar situation played out when a black suburban showed up to pick up several kids, but it didn't have enough room to carry them all.
"Things are happening everyday and there's no way in the world I am going to just put [my kids] off on somebody else," said Lakendra Williams, a DISD parent. "I am going to make sure mine get to school and get back home safely."
Tuesday morning, she waited with her niece and daughter more than an hour to ensure they were picked up safely and on time.
Several other parents were at the same site. Most said they would prefer a school bus be used to transport children. Nelida Macedo said it would prevent the confusion they've experienced the last two days.
"I want my daughter to be on a bus," she said. "Not on a taxi, okay?"
Jose Hernandez's children attend DISD Vanguard middle schools and need transportation. Monday, he compared the new system to a taxi service.
His son got to school without a problem on Monday, but his 11-year-old daughter didn't.
"It's a big mess; she’s insecure, and I feel insecure, too," Hernandez said. "Nobody showed up."
It turned out that the driver was late. But when he did show up, he was not properly dressed and didn't have an ID badge, Hernandez said. The vehicle had a sign indicating what school it was going to, but the sign was incorrect.
"It was hard to let her go with this person because you don't know this person," Hernandez said. "He didn’t identify himself, and besides, he didn't know which school he was going to."
DISD's website shows that American Logistics Company is the contracted service provider for Dallas County Schools, the agency that manages transportation for the district. The ALC service is used for Magnet, Vanguard and special program schools, and was expanded this year to include more routes.
The ALC brochure is also provided on DISD’s website. The company claims it offers its service nationwide, and that its drivers are professionally licensed in Texas and go through criminal background checks, including alcohol and drug screenings.
But that's not enough for Jose Hernandez. He gave the service a failing grade on the first day.
"You don't know who is going to pick up your kids," he said. "You don't know if it's the same person or another person, so what they need to do is go back with the small buses."
And he's not the only who complained. News 8 spoke to parents from other special program schools, including Travis Vanguard on McKinney Avenue, who were also dissatisfied with the ALC service.
WFAA has learned the school district fielded several calls on the issue Monday.
"We are committed to working with Dallas County to resolve parents' concerns as quickly as possible," said DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander.
In a statement, ALC said that providing smaller vehicles leads to shorter ride times to and from school.
"We do recognize that any change, especially changes that involve someone's children, takes some time to get used to and we are working closely with parents and school administrators to help them through this transition,” ALC spokesman Gregg Prettyman said. "We assure you that anyone servicing these trips has been thoroughly screened and meets all state and local transportation requirements."