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UC Santa Cruz receives unsatisfactory report from CHP after bus inspection

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) - For the first time, UC Santa Cruz has received an unsatisfactory report regarding the maintenance of their buses from the CHP. This prompted the school to take action.

The report revealed several failed maintenance checks.

"I think any time, that you're going from satisfactory to unsatisfactory, it raises a lot of questions," said Scott Hernandez-Jason, Campus spokesperson and assistant vice chancellor for communications.

These are questions that school officials are now trying to figure out. The next inspection was not supposed to be until September, but a review of the buses was requested after that deadly bus crash on December 12th.

9 of the 35-foot buses were inspected, which is the same model as the bus involved in the crash.

Out of the 9, 4 were allowed back in use.

The report found a driver did not have a valid driver's license to drive the buses.

"That, everything was up to date, but the DMV records were not, reflecting that, basically a clerical error. But it's another area where we're going to develop better processes to ensure everything we know about our operations is synced up with the DMV," said Hernandez-Jason.

On page 2 Of the report, it shows that several maintenance checkups were overdue.

Some by 53 days, and others by 426 days. Those include checking emergency exits and conducting shuttle inspections every 6 months or 6-thousand miles.

Since annual check-ups are done by the CHP – I asked the school if parts of the checkups could have been missed.

"We're still, looking, into everything, you know, but what the report did show is that we had not been systematically inspecting our busses at set intervals. So that is something we are immediately taking a look at. In the short term, all the buses that we are running have been inspected and cleared for service. We'll also be inviting a different third-party expert in to take a holistic look at our maintenance program," said Hernandez-Jason.

The next bus inspection from the CHP will be in May.

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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