(WSVN) - A Broward mother is fed up after, she says, the county bus system dropped off her special needs child at the wrong location several times. Now, fearing for her daughter’s safety, she’s asking for something to be done so this doesn’t happen again. 7’s Rosh Lowe has more in the Lowedown.
The love between mother and daughter jumps off the page. Brianna is 18 years old, but she has the mind of a 3-year-old.
Nicole Gaynair, mother: “You’re the reason why I get up every day.”
Nicole wants Brianna to experience the best of life. That includes going to school at Everglades High School in Miramar.
Nicole Gaynair: “She deserves to have an education like everybody else. She deserves to be safe and be transported in a safe way like all the other kids do. That’s all I want to see for her.”
Nicole works full-time, so she pays for a Broward County bus system called TOPS, or Transportation Options. The county provides bus service for people with special needs. This service takes Brianna to an after-school program five miles from her school.
But imagine the cold shock when Nicole gets a phone call saying the county bus has dropped off her child at the wrong location.
Nicole Gaynair: “She called me on her cellphone and was screaming and saying, ‘Mommy, I’m by myself. It’s dark. Bus is not here.’ Brianna is by herself, and I just lost it. I couldn’t communicate with her. She couldn’t tell me where she was. All she could tell me was that she was in the dark in a building by herself.”
Nicole frantically called the bus service. Brianna was able to give the phone to someone standing near her, and Nicole was able to track her down. She says it took her 30 minutes to find her daughter.
Brianna has been going to this school for two years. In that time, her mom has filed 60 complaints about her daughter being dropped off and brought to the wrong address. She wants Broward County Transit to do something about it.
Nicole Gaynair: “Imagine a 3-year-old out there. Every parent knows when their 3-year-old moves in the mall from them, that sick feeling that you get. I want to see reliable transportation.”
Nicole showed us the responses to some of her complaints, and the company did confirm her worst fears. “While researching your complaint, we found that the driver indeed dropped the client at the wrong location.”
Nicole Gaynair (reading another response): “‘The driver apologizes for any inconvenience that he has caused. We will continue to monitor the driver closely.'”
Broward County Transit says they have been in contact with Nicole.
A response from county officials dated Jan. 10, 2017 reads in part, “Broward County Transit is committed to investigate these issues and put steps in place to improve her daughters quality of service … Since these changes were implemented in mid- January, TOPS has provided 61 trips for her daughter at a 91.8 percent on time service level, and there have been no reported issues relating the TOPS pick-up/drop location.”
Rosh Lowe: “If Broward County Transit is watching this, what would you want to tell them?”
Nicole Gaynair: “If it were your 3-year-old that were out there, how would you feel?”
Brianna Gaynair: “Sad.”
Nicole Gaynair: “Sad, you are right. I simply want a way for her to be transported safely.”
Brianna finishes the answer for her mom off camera with one word: sad.
Nicole Gaynair: “Because this is my only option in Broward County, I have to swallow it, and I have to take it and keep taking it, because I don’t have another option.”
Broward County Transit tells us they are working to make sure this never happens again.
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