SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Students say their once-in-a-lifetime trip was canceled because of a bus company.
They met in the Rio Americano High School parking lot Friday, packed, and ready to go on their much-anticipated senior trip to Magic Mountain.
“This was kind of the last hurrah before everyone went off to college,” Connor Shatz said.
Only to realize it wasn’t happening.
“It kind of just got taken away because of one little mishap that turned into a huge mess,” Shatz said.
Shatz and his friends were already on the bus.
“My friend bought like $50 worth of food. I was so excited,” Alexis Miller said.
Their high hopes dashed in minutes.
“Suddenly, they’re like, ‘Yeah, you got to get off the bus,” Alexis said.
Student body event planner Talia Gonzalez, who organized the trip, says the bus that showed up wasn’t the bus she booked.
“We were just kind of lost and didn’t know what to do,” Gonzalez said.
She says the senior class hired US Coachways, a charter bus company based in Staten Island,
“[They] did not let us know ahead of time that they were subcontracting out the buses,” Gonzalez said.
She says school officials determined the drivers didn’t have the appropriate certification to drive students.
“And no one in the entire bus company that they subtracted to were certified,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and other teachers got on the phone, calling dozens of area bus companies – they could not find a replacement.
“Now we have to refund a hundred kids going on the trip $150 before they graduate,” Gonzalez said.
US Coachways hasn’t yet returned our calls. But a company sales representative emailed a statement, reading, in part: “We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. I assure you it is not our intention to cancel school charters or any charter for that matter. We will be doing more research on exactly what transpired and will be back in touch upon further investigation.”
For now, Gonzalez says school officials plan to borrow from the class fund to refund students.
But for students, it’s not about the money, it’s the memories.
The students graduate on Wednesday, so the school will be sorting out the incident with the bus company.