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North York dad may take legal action after second school bus mishap

Last Updated Oct 7, 2016 at 7:32 pm EDT

A North York dad says he’s considering legal action after his son was involved in two mixups this month with the same school bus company.

Last week, three-year-old Zaiden, a student at Gateway Public School, was dropped off at the wrong stop in North York. He was unaccounted for until a stranger called the school 10 minutes later to say she had found him.

As a result, Sharp Bus Lines put another driver on Zaiden’s route. But on Thursday, there was more confusion.

Not only was the bus more than two hours late dropping off students, but also when Zaiden’s parents arrived at his school after deciding to pick him up themselves, his father got an unsettling phone call from Sharp Bus Lines.

“My phone rings and it was … the dispatcher from Sharp Bus Lines,” Carlos Oberoi told CityNews.

Her exact message to me was, ‘Could you please let us know if there’s someone to pick up your son Zaiden at the front of the condo because we’re here now to drop him off?’”

“I was like, ‘Really? It’s very strange. I’m sitting in the office at Gateway and … my son is in the office with us. So, which Zaiden do you have?’”

It turns out, there was another student named Zaiden.

“Unfortunately, there are two students with the same first name on this route, and as a result the dispatcher contacted the wrong parent,” Sharp Bus Lines said in an email.

“Once the dispatcher realized this, she contacted the other family, and the guardian came out to take the child off of the bus safely.”

Oberoi said he’s worried for his son’s safety and believes the Toronto District School Board should be taking action.

“To me, it’s business,” he said. “If a business messes up, why don’t you just get rid of the company if they keep dropping the ball.”

Oberoi told CityNews he has contacted a lawyer to see what legal action could be taken against the school board.

“Do we have to wait for something tragic to come out of this — one of our kids get caught up in a bad situation?” he said.

The TDSB said it wouldn’t comment because it’s now a legal matter.

The Ontario Ombudsman is investigating the school bus shortage. Parents with complaints are being to asked to contact the government at www.ombudsman.on.ca

Related stories:

EXCLUSIVE: Toddler dropped off at wrong school bus stop, found by stranger

Parents say rush to hire, train new school bus drivers putting kids at risk

Ontario ombudsman to investigate chronic school bus driver shortage

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