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IPS outsources bus maintenance to improve safety

Posted at 5:35 PM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-24 13:40:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- IPS is planning a major overhaul of its bus maintenance.

The move comes on the heels of a report from Call 6 Investigates that more than half of the district's buses failed safety inspections by Indiana State Police.

In the past week, only 50 percent of IPS buses passed an initial state police inspection.

The state average is 83 percent.

An IPS employee who asked to remain anonymous said, "The buses are not safe and haven't been safe all year."

The school district says it's "committed to ensuring the safety of our students and drivers," and, "Any deficiencies or safety concerns identified are addressed with urgency."

IPS plans to improve its bus inspections by outsourcing its fleet maintenance to Dickinson Fleet Services.

The nearly $3 million contract includes a performance requirement of at least 85 percent on state police bus inspections.

An insider told RTV6 that IPS did not have enough mechanics to get the buses ready.

"We would have been ready for the state police inspection. It is so unorganized. No one knows who is doing what. It's confusing. State police are at fault. State police are there to make sure the buses are safe to transport our kids."

The employee is afraid of job loss, but hopes speaking out even like this will get others like state police or the FBI to take a closer look at the IPS bus maintenance logs.

Why do state police and the FBI need to be involved?

Our source says, "I would immediately pull the hard drive from the dispatch and you will hear several drivers all year long state, they had this problem, and this problem."

IPS plans to reduce more bus-related problems by replacing 100 old buses with ones that are propane-fueled.

If you'd like to check the school bus inspection reports for your district, click here.