AN ECHUCA mother is outraged after her daughter was refused entry onto a town bus for the sake of $1.20 and left on the side of the road last week.
Heather Mackenzie-Ross said her daughters Emily, 16, and Sarah, 10, were getting on the bus at the Bowen St bus stop last Monday morning when the bus driver told Emily she couldn’t use her student ID card like she had been doing for the past couple of years.
‘‘He yelled at her saying she couldn’t use that and that she had to pay,’’ Ms Mackenzie-Ross said.
‘‘She didn’t have any money so her friend offered to pay but the driver said no, and told her to get off the bus.
‘‘She stepped off the bus and he drove off straight away.
‘‘With everyone being so concerned about children’s safety going to and from school, how is this allowed to happen?
‘‘We’re trusting these people to get our kids to school safely. For the sake of $1.20, that could have easily been paid or owed the next day, he’s happy to put a child at risk and leave them on the side of the road.’’
Ms Mackenzie-Ross said thankfully a student from St Joseph’s College who was waiting for her bus lent Emily her phone to call her at work.
‘‘What if it had have been a younger student who wouldn’t have known what to do?’’ she said.
‘‘It’s just not good enough.’’
Because Ms Mackenzie-Ross knew Sarah would have been distressed and worried about her sister, she drove to Echuca South Primary School to meet up with the bus.
‘‘I went to the school expecting to find Sarah, but the bus didn’t even drop her off at her normal stop,’’ she said.
‘‘She was dropped further down the road, close to the trotting track in McKenzie St I believe.
‘‘The school called the bus company about it and it was actually the driver we spoke to but he refused to give his name, was extremely rude and said he was justified in what he done and that it wasn’t his concern what happened after he left her there.
‘‘I’m just disgusted and disappointed.’’
Echuca-Moama Transit manager David Ind said he had investigated the matter.
‘‘We have the appropriate authorities dealing with the issue,’’ he said.
Mr Ind would not elaborate any further.