YPSILANTI TOWNSHIP, Mich. — An unmarked charter school bus that raised suspicion when it tried to pick up students here in October was driven without valid proof of insurance or registration, and had several mechanical issues, officials told MLive.
As previously reported, the bus was believed to have a school district’s name covered by spray paint. In one incident, a parent who was waiting at a bus stop with students wouldn’t let them board, and the driver reportedly sped away. Two similar sightings of the bus were reported soon after. However, that afternoon, deputies located the bus and confirmed that it belonged to a transportation company.
According to a Michigan State Police inspection report obtained by MLive, the bus, owned by All Aboard Transportation and hired by New Beginnings Academy, had a broken parking brake spring, an audible air leak at the brake hose air chamber, and oil leaking on an exhaust manifold. Red tag violations listed in the report include the school name being improperly painted on the vehicle (the school or contractor name was blacked out), and a body component that is rusted through, cracked, or broken. (New Beginnings Principal K. Crockett told the news source in November that the school had cut ties with All Aboard Transportation.)
Police told MLive that the school had not contacted police for a required inspection of the bus before it went into use. After the bus raised concerns, police determined that it had 21 violations under Michigan’s Pupil Transportation Act. Michigan State Police Sgt. Michael McLaughlin, head of the department's school bus inspection unit, previously told MLive and The Ann Arbor News that officials consider two to four violations of the act to be "a lot." He added that the bus “should have not been on the road, that's for sure, let alone transporting pupils."
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