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Spotty School Bus Service Leaves Parents Frustrated In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's been a rough ride to school for some children in Queens. Parents say buses are late, while others pull away before their kids are able to board.

Some say they can't depend on the buses and they've complained about it since the start of the school lear. Astoria resident Yanina Calabro says she drives her children to and from school because their bus is completely unreliable.

"It's been two weeks and they came once," she told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez. "I've been driving everyone to school from the bus stop."

Surveillance video from Monday morning shows Calabro's children's bus, operated by Grandpa's Bus Company, parked at their stop on 30th Drive at 14th Street. Calabro says there were no students on board as a parent is seen approaching the bus.

The driver never opens the door and proceeds to take off.

"I definitely can't do this every day," Calabro said. "And the other moms can't do this every day."

Parents have been complaining to the bus company and Department of Education about buses that are late, lost, or no-shows. A spokesperson for the company had no immediate explanation for Calabro's runaway bus and apologized for the ongoing problems.

The spokesperson added the company is "... working around the clock with (the city's Office of Pupil Transportation) to rectify the issues."

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza vowed to review all the bus contracts.

"I want to apologize to all of our families and our students. It's unacceptable, absolutely unacceptable," Carranza said.

Georgia Mammis had to driver her kids to school Monday morning after waiting nearly 45 minutes for a bus she later found out broke down.

"Kids should go to school comfortably," Mammis said. "They should feel safe and they should have trust. There is no trust."

Parents have started to question whether or not the bus company will ever regain their trust. Meanwhile, the DOE says they've reassigned four of Grandpa's bus routes to another company.

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