UTC files lawsuit against First Student bus company over safety breaches – KIRO 7 News Seattle

SEATTLE — The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has filed a lawsuit against the First Student bus company over its charter operations, which could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

UTC said it only regulates charter services provided by First Student. It does not regulate transportation from school to home or from home to school for First Student.

As part of its charter operations, First Student offers school bus rentals for businesses and organizations and for events such as parties, weddings and school trips.

The complaint stems from a 2019 investigation that uncovered more than 150 security breaches.

  • 44 were for using conductors without testing them first.
  • 13 offenses involved fraudulent or intentionally false statements.
  • 99 offenses were committed for not requiring inspection reports.

“These are violations serious enough to warrant revoking the company’s operating license,” UTC’s Katie Griffith said in 2019.

Initially, $10,000 of the company’s over $23,000 fine was waived on the condition that the company fix the issues and not commit another violation for two years.

Investigators said they found 634 violations during routine follow-up, more than half of which were classified as acute, critical or repeated.

A statement from First Student follows:

“First Student’s number one priority is always the safety and well-being of the students we transport daily. We are working with WUTC to immediately respond to these findings to ensure our policies and procedures are reviewed and compliant. »

A hearing into the violations is scheduled for next month.