TLS EXCLUSIVE: Video Interview With Negba Bus Service

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: With the recent tumult surrounding the
Negba Bus Service, TLS sat down with the owner of Negba, Aaron Rottenberg, for some answers. We presented questions which have been on the minds of many for the last several months, many which have gone unanswered.

Why are children waiting outside only to find out the bus has been cancelled? Why is there no answer when parents attempt to reach the office? Why are there delays? And finally, can the bus company improve its service?

See the TLS EXCLUSIVE video below of Negba addressing the issues and concerns and what he proposes to change the company for the better.

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  1. give credit where credit is due. for the first week since school started my sons bus came the same time every morning!!!! keep up the good work!!

  2. Do you feel your company was singled out since the beginning of the year from the time your windshield’s were smashed in September to surprise inspections and a late formal inspection on purpose for various reasons? Also can you put a website with bus #’s stating what time they left for the run, keeping older times on public record so that parents can check without calling in. Also do you know if the BOE calls the school principals in a timely fashion after your call to them?

    I personally had a very positive experience with your company last year and wish you the best of luck, but as a parent with small children on a tight schedule can get frustrated when the schedules don’t work out without anyplace to turn for information.

  3. I guess the boe tactics are working. If he recognizes the problem and says ge will work on it then let’s give thema chance. It sounds like they need a few “spare” buses because I’m sure its unevitable that 10 busses can be out at any given time.

  4. Thanks TLS for presenting a balanced view of both sides of the story. My own expereinces with the Negba bus company have only been positive. It is worth mentioning that their buses are always spotlessly clean and the majority of their buses are always on time.

  5. As a proud father of four boys, I am thrilled to see Negba in such capable hands. Every time a Negba Bus drives by me (and it’s in the hundreds/day) , I am overjoyed knowing that our yiddishe children are safe. It seems as if he even inspired another shomer shabbos to open up!Mazel Tov to the lucky choson!

  6. My childs bus NEVER comes on time including yesterday when it did not show up at all!!!

    Do I pay my property taxes so I have to car pool my children to school every day?!!!?? It’s Outrageous !!!

  7. You said that everything was okay today (Wednesday), except “maybe a few minutes late because of the snow”.

    Did all Bnos Devorah’s runs have bussing? Not.

  8. Someone should teach the drivers that stop signs really mean stopping, not gliding through the signs. I have even seen buses not stop at all at stop signs. I saw a (moderated) bus back out of a street with children on the bus onto a major roadway.

    I am o happy that my children are not on (moderated) bus.

  9. I have seen a frum busdriver (dont know which company) driving with a folded paper in his hand to cover his cellphone that he was talking on. At first I could not understand why he he was holding up a paper to the side of his face, but then he turned the corner and I saw that cellphone behind. Pretty Pathetic!

  10. I am (age-wise) well beyond being a parent of school-age children. But I was a parent years ago, and also a BOE President (in another town). You have two distinct issues here, not a single “performance” issue by a bus company. If a bus can’t make it, that is one issue, admittedly an important one. But the more pressing issue is communication. If a bus is not expected to arrive, you must be called at once. You may have an option of driving your child to school yourself, or taking the child in if you cannot. But you must be called. You should not ever be in a position of having your child waiting outside for a bus that is not expected to timely arrive. All manner of explanations may be made as to why buses are not available, etc., but the communication issue is an issue of effort, not equipment, and you must insist that it be resolved.

  11. Do you people really think that Hashem doesnt see all your comments? Do you think that Lashon Hara and Motzei Shem Ra that is typed on a blog goes unpunished?

    Wake up, dear brothers and sisters, and start watching what we say, how we say it, and in that zechus, Hashem will allow our tefilos to be answered.

    A mouth that speaks (or fingers that type) Lashon Hara cannot be used effectively for Tefilah.

    Resist the urge to use names of people and companies when commenting negatively.

  12. It’s great you’re in “the yard” at 5am but NO ONE is in your office answering phones before 9:30! – 10:00!! The phones might get a bit tied up when the secretary finally arrives but before then we all know about the phone being off the hook! We’ve already confirmed with the phone company so that’s why we are all upset. If you don’t communicate with us (the parents) we have every right to be upset! If we are told that we will get a call back ( that’s the latest one) and that never happens then of course we are upset! YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE ANSWERING THE OFFICE PHONE EARLY IN THE MORNING!!! NOT AFTER WE ALREADY DROVE OUR KIDS OURSELVES. Really, if that has to happen every once in a while that the bus didn’t show up in the morning or even in the aternoon(!) we will be frustrated that we have to transport the kids ourselves when we should be getting bus service but when we cannot get through to the office – that’s why we are ANGRY. Good “customer service” is what makes a business successful. A school bus comany’s office CANNOT open when it’s convenient for the secretary to come in. You have a serious commitment to be there for the parent body and you have rarely been there!. Most phone calls that come in should take less than a minute … “is the bus coming today?” that should be a yes or no – not I’ll call you back or hold on while I find out! If the bus driver took the bus out then he is coming – if he never showed up or you didn;t send him on the route we are calling about then just tell us “no”. We as parents were not getting through to your office this year and when we finally did we didn’t get much help. Please stop taking the phone off the hook in the early morning and hire someone who will have answers if we need to call. Also, stop the practice of taking down our phone numbers promising a call back and never returing the call!

  13. From watching the invterview, it appears relatively clear that Mr. Rottenberg understands most of the issues that he is facing. It also sounds as if the company needs to have better control over the number of available buses, whether through the acquistition or leasing of buses or partial interests in buses to be available when needed, scheduling state inspections far in advance of the deadline (i.e., not waiting until last minute), and having parts and service people on call who will give priority to bus repairs.

    What Mr. Rottenberg apparently did not understand from the imbroglio is the desperate need for improved communications. Email, text messaging and website information are all obvious methods of communication that could and should be used. Further, the use of 3-4 lines and 2-3 people is clearly insufficient. Any telecommunications consultant can probably provide numerous solutions to this issue. An obvious one is the use of a phone answering service with up to date bus information. Most telephone answering services have more than enough lines and personnel to take care of Negba’s crunch time.

    Hopefully the company willl quickly learn from its past experiences and from the reasoned advice provided to it.

  14. Every bus company goes through the same scheduled bi-annual inspection process and surprise inspection. How come the other companies don’t leave children stranded on a regular basis?

  15. sounds to me as the bus company was running negligently for the past years, with phone of the hooks, not having busses up to par for inspections etc. (these are children, it should be handled with white gloves)
    however now he sees the writing on the wall ….so time will tell!!

  16. right on #33 and 34!

    we live in the age of technology. Information travels at the speed of light – if you dispatch it that is. Mr Negba, you did not communicate with any of us untill it was too late. you could have put up a cheap website with updated info, you could have signed up an answering service, you could have employed robo calls, you could have sent out emails, sms… none of your employees, friends or relatives could come up with even ONE idea, how to better communicate with the public???

  17. Rabosai,

    It is a new company that was started for the good of the ztibur. Their drivers are not abusive and dangerous for our kids. The owner is erlich. Give him a chance to improve the logistics and communications.

  18. It is great that he is changing and has figured out the issues however today Wednesday morning I had to drive my son to school again because no bus showed up.

  19. There is something called Twitter in which you or the drivers can easily notify any parent that accepts text messages. If you can’t get your buses
    running on time the least you can do is communicate.

  20. how bout the old fashion chain call.
    if each route gives a list to all the parents on each bus, negba would only need to call a few parents and within a short time everyone on that route would know if the bus is coming or not.

  21. I could not watch the video, but as a parent who has a child on a bus of his I have a more than a few questions. The first and most important one, and I see others have mentioned it here is: why the lack of communication? I would almost call it hiding out. It is very difficult to get thru to the office, and when I finally do, they tell me they can’t help me I have to call back.

    Not only that he has a big problem with double runs. Again, I don’t know if he addressed that in the video, but that’s a problem we had last year, and this year it isn’t any better.

    Where was he till now? Why is he suddenly talking now?

  22. The problem is this company has double morning shifts. They first do Howell and other public scholl transportation before doing the frum Lakewood schools. There is no way they can handle this load.

  23. To number 47 its amazing how you know what the problem is. Are you in the bus company business? Did you think before you posted? What makes you an expert? Is it your ability to write trash anonomously?

  24. After reading some of the previous posters demands I was amazed at their sense of entitilement. Does any of the other bus companies use Twitter, a web site or emails to keep parents informed? The answer is of course NO. How about in Brooklyn, Monsey or Williamsburg where there are actualy more children being bussed. The economics of this business clearly does not allow for these solutions. Yet we have all these so called wise posters demanding and agitating for all sorts of goodies. If you watch the video you get a sense of the guy’s commitment and if all you can do afterwards is to demand that he does more than anyone else, it leaves me with the feeling that you will never be satisfied.

  25. Reply to 49: Not that I am saying that he should be doing any of that, but no other bus company has such a bad track record of coming on time. That is why people are demanding this. If they would just show up on time (at least most of the time) then noone would complain.

  26. I think the BOE should require each school to keep a log of when each bus arrives, and that way it will be clear how each bus company is performing. The BOE should be able to work this into their contract with the bus companies so that their pay is contingent on performance. If this would be done, the problem would be resolved by now.

  27. Sounds like enough buses isn’t adequate. You need some extras for all these ‘inevitables’. If his bussing would run smoothly 3-4 lines would be adequate. This Monday, we had our 3rd no show day in one week. I got the message machine when I called. I never got a call back. I called the Board of Transportation and they weren’t informed of any issue.

  28. He makes it sound like his manegement was the problem. I know Yudy Greenspan both personaly and proffesionaly and can say that he did a superhuman job of keeping all the balls in the air as his boss kept on throwing him more and more to handel without giving him the resources to do it. Yet, I have never heard him raise his voice or lose his mencshlichkeit. GO YUDY!!!!

  29. Aron – If the busses would come on time and your office would run effeciently then yes, you could be like all the other bus companies. We are making suggestions to make it work for you and you are not accepting them. Remember, GOOD COMMUNICATION MAKES ANY BUSINESS A SUCCESS! Hatzlocha

  30. First, let me thank you for the positive comments about school bussing. Do any of you realize how difficult it is to run a fleet this size? If one or two or even 5 buses are late, that is pretty good odds for a company with a fleet this large. Problems arise on the roads and I need not go into it, since all of you are Lakewood Residents. Negba has a good reputation and will continue as such, but sometimes there are a few bad apples in the barrel, that seem to spoil the entire barrel. So my suggestion is, get rid of some of the bad and surround yourself with good and only good will happen. As for the inspection aspect, the bus company does not pick the dates they are to be inspected, DMV does that for them. Hats off to you NEGBA… I know you will succeed!!!!!

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