Court orders bus company to restore cut Elizabeth Forward routes | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Court orders bus company to restore cut Elizabeth Forward routes

Jacob Tierney
1692539_web1_SchoolBus

A judge has ordered Pennsylvania Coach Lines to continue driving Elizabeth Forward students to school on routes the bus company tried to cut.

On Monday, Pennsylvania Coach Lines announced it could no longer pick up students on three routes of the district’s 26 routes because of a shortage of drivers. The announcement affected about 350 Elizabeth Forward students.

The company has been driving students to school under court order despite a protracted contract dispute with the district.

Pennsylvania Coach Lines President David Sunstein said Monday he believes cutting the routes did not violate the court order, because his company has been working to the best of its abilities to transport students.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward did not agree. On Tuesday, she ordered the bus company to restore the routes, according to an announcement posted on the district’s website.

A mediation session between the district and Pennsylvania Coach has been scheduled for Sunday afternoon, according to a statement from the company.

The dispute between the district and Pennsylvania Coach Lines started in August. The district said the bus company was violating its contract by refusing to transport students. The bus company said they had no contract with the district.

A previous contract between Pennsylvania Coach Lines and Elizabeth Forward expired in June. The school board voted last October to extend that deal through June 2023.

However, Sunstein said his company and the school district had never come to an agreement on the extended deal, and that any contract approved by the board didn’t exist.

Elizabeth Forward delayed the start of school by several days as negotiations failed.

Students were granted a temporary reprieve when Ward ordered PA Coach to transport students until Sept. 13. Last week, Ward extended that order, telling PA Coach to continue driving students indefinitely.

Sunstein said the district is offering a one-year contract, but he wants a longer deal to justify the cost of hiring new drivers and buying more buses.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.