Thursday, February 22, 2024

CATA CEO apologizes to students displaced by buses on night of Feb. 13

March 3, 2023
<p>CATA buses are pictured on June 8 at the CATA Transportation Center.</p>

CATA buses are pictured on June 8 at the CATA Transportation Center.

Capital Area Transportation Authority, or CATA, CEO Bradley Funkhouser apologized for the experiences of some students on the night of Feb. 13, when they were displaced after a shelter-in-place order was put out during a shooting on campus.

At least two bus drivers on the 31 Route had students get off the bus while the order was still in place. One student recounted being told to get off at a CATA bus station, while another was told to get off at Rather Hall in the Brody neighborhood, despite not living there.

“Hindsight, they say, is 20/20," Funkhouser said in a statement to The State News. "In its recent story, The State News critically assessed CATA bus operators for the displacement of students during the Feb. 13 active shooter tragedy on Michigan State University's campus."

Funkhouser went on to apologize to "those who were made to feel unsafe during the horrific incident."

He clarified that CATA does not require students to exit vehicles during a shelter-in-place situation, as The State News previously reported. CATA is investigating reports that bus drivers told students to exit the buses.

The State News has acknowledged this error and corrected the article.

Funkhouser said he is proud of the CATA drivers who "responded to the call for support of students who did their best under very trying circumstances," and said bus drivers “swept campus,” looking for students who were stranded and needed to be evacuated.

“In retrospect, our collective vision is clearer,” Funkhouser said. “We will evaluate our response to this tragedy and make improvements to better prepare for the unthinkable, and to keep our riders and operators safe.”

Reporter Liz Nass contributed to this article.

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