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Durham Bus Services prepares to get students to school safe and on time

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Parents, students and the school system all want the same thing.

When the bell rings this school year, they want school buses to get students to school safe and on time.

Parents remembered the headaches when school started last year and the buses their kids were waiting on that never came.

"Yeah, we had to take them to school a couple of times because the bus never came," said Nakia Fleming, whose four sons ride the school bus.

Durham Bus Services, the company that contracts with the school system to transport Shelby County students, was in the hot seat.

Last year there were accidents, buses didn't show up at stops and drivers were hired without a thorough back ground check.

"Our board has been crystal clear; not happy with the performance. The community is not happy with the performance. I'm not happy with the performance. If we don't get the benefit of our bargain and the company doing what they were hired and promised to do, we are gonna hold them accountable," said Shelby County School Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.

Durham has hired more drivers and made several other changes.

"They hired about six new safety trainers and managers that have been on the ground about 3 or 4 months. Their whole recruiting and training process for new drivers has changed in a significant way. So we hope that we see the fruits of their labor," said Hopson.

They also hoped to see fewer accidents.

"Monitoring is ongoing. We receive month to month how many accidents and how many were their fault," said School Board member Teresa Jones.

"I just hope they have it where the kids can get on and have their bus cards on the first day of school," said parent Nakia Fleming.

Durham has also installed new GPS monitoring on many buses.

The school system said this would not only help the drivers, but also allow the school system to determine if buses are arriving on time.

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