An Isla Vista resident filed a putative class action complaint against Jump On The School Bus, a transportation company that busses Thursday’s “college night” attendees, for unfair business practice and tort. 

The Santa Barbara County Superior Court case cites 10 causes of action against the company, including unlawfully charging individual bus fares for its service with a charter certification, stranding bus users on some occasions in downtown SB, violating safety regulations, overscheduling its drivers and neglecting mandatory vehicle inspections. 

A putative class action is a lawsuit filed by a lead plaintiff but on behalf of an potentially impacted “class.” Nexus File Photo

Officially titled Sierra Bravo Enterprises, Limited Liability Company — doing business as Jump On The School Bus (Jump) — Jump is a Santa Barbara-based transportation company that busses Isla Vista residents, primarily UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College students, for a round trip from Isla Vista to downtown Santa Barbara on Thursday nights to participate in college night. 

A putative class action is a lawsuit filed by a lead plaintiff but on behalf of a potentially impacted group of people, also known as a “class.” The case begins with a complaint that is proceeded through a trial hearing, determining its legitimacy as a lawsuit. 

“The [case] seeks to have Jump On The School Bus refund the individual fares for the Thursday night round trips from Isla Vista to Santa Barbara, going back four years,” Plaintiff Attorney Raymond Chandler said. 

If the case moves forward as a lawsuit and if the lawsuit rules in favor of the plaintiff, anyone who has utilized Jump for college night may be eligible for a full refund of their bus fares, according to Chandler. 

The plaintiff, Jack Topping, is a mechanic operating under a company that services the vehicles of a competitor bussing company, according to Defense Attorney Paul Burns. 

Chandler spoke to his client’s testimony using the bus back in 2022, which helped spark the investigation. 

“On one of those trips when he tried to get on the bus … There were other people there standing with him and trying to get on the bus, and he was told ‘no’ because it’s full … and they didn’t provide another bus for him to go home on,” Chandler said. 

Though Topping testified on his knowledge of the first cause of action, Chandler clarified that the other nine cause were built upon sourcing from an independent source he directly spoke with. 

“I interviewed my source at length and in person, and he was in a position to know the things he told me,” Chandler said in a statement to the Nexus. “I signed and filed the complaint.” 

The dispute also follows alleged, informal disputes between Jump and Bill’s Bus, a longtime Santa Barbara bussing service since 1991 that also provides transportation for college night. Bill’s Bus owner Craig Jenkins officially filed complaints to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in May 2023, which were closed later that year, determining that Jump was operating within the scope of its license. 

Burns subsequently received communication from Chandler that the investigation was reopened with the current class action complaint on Jan. 31. 

Topping confirmed under oath by the court that he did not file the complaint because of a request from Jenkins, saying he filed it of his own independent will. 

The primary allegation — “unlawfully charging individual bus fares not permitted by the California [PUC] and the class members, whom are students at UCSB — categorizes the claim’s impact to a ‘fare-paid class’ and a ‘stranded class’. The former is all users who paid Jump $20 via Venmo for bus transportation. The latter is those who were stranded in downtown SB despite being given a wrist band as proof of payment, “which entitled the student to the return trip to Isla Vista,” according to the complaint. 

“On numerous occasions, Jump failed to provide a bus for the return trip, leaving students stranded and needing to fend for themselves; many of whom were no doubt drunk,” the complaint read. 

Chandler clarified that the only exception to Jump’s license restriction is if the company was conducting sightseeing tours. Jump claimed under oath, according to him, that its Thursday night transportation services are for sightseeing purposes. Chandler expressed doubt to this claim. 

“Our plaintiff never intended to go on a sightseeing tour, there were no sites shown to him on his trip,” he said. “These buses leave around 9:30 at night … I sincerely doubt any of these students are taking a sightseeing trip at 9:30 at night.” 

The complaint alleges that Jump has failed to maintain a list of its serviced buses with the Public Utilities Commission and failed to conduct proper, documented inspection of its vehicles. The seventh cause of action claims that Jump “hid” its buses from California Highway Patrol “by removing the buses from its storage area when the inspections take place.” 

According to the fifth and sixth causes, Jump’s drivers also “did not hold the required licenses” at the time “they drove buses transporting UCSB students and other passengers.” Citing California Vehicle Code, the complaint claims that the drivers were also not given legally required breaks prior to the start of their Thursday night shifts. 

“Jump employs drivers who work shifts driving buses for other companies … and then work a shift for Jump, resulting in the drivers working more than 10 hours without any break,” the complaint read. 

Burns said the defendant denies all allegations, saying the claim is “without merit” and “has been instigated by a competitor of the defendant.” Cross actions have yet to be filed. 

Jenkins, who is not involved in the ongoing lawsuit, spoke of his first encounter with Jump about a decade ago when his buses would station themselves in front of Embarcadero Hall. 

“Black school buses started showing up, and they would park across the street from us in the red zone,” he said. “And the kids wouldn’t know, they just saw a bus and assumed it was Bill’s Bus.” 

Jenkins said Bill’s Bus then chose a new location to park — 6575 Seville Rd., approximately eight years ago. He claimed Jump began parking its own vehicles in that same location thereafter. 

“All of a sudden, these black school buses started coming out of nowhere, impersonating Bill’s Bus,” Jenkins said. “They would load up just anywhere, [and] the kids would get to them before they would get to us and the kids wouldn’t know the difference.” 

Jenkins said college night attendees have been mixing up Bill’s Bus and Jump since Jump’s entrance into the I.V. scene.

“I’ve been fielding complaints about this company, how they operate and how people are getting in fights,” he said. “Their security staff is beating up students and the kids are trying to file complaints against us.” 

“It’s been a nightmare for about the last 10 years.”

Jenkins spoke of Jump’s “disregard for public safety” in following CDC guidelines during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic — not cited or related to the ongoing case — in expressing his concerns for the safety of students utilizing the bussing system. 

“During the whole pandemic, we didn’t operate, we followed CDC guidelines, we didn’t run buses on graduation weekend,” he said. “But we went out there and [Jump] had probably eight or nine buses full of kids, no one’s wearing masks, 60-80 kids [per bus]. There was no regard for public safety.” 

The case will be conferenced in a trial on Oct. 16 at 11:30 a.m. by judicial officer Thomas Anderle. 

The Nexus will continue to report on this topic as more information becomes available. 

A version of this article appeared on p. 1 of the Feb. 22, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.

CORRECTION [2/22/2024, 3:15 p.m.]: Jenkins clarified his quote regarding Jump’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article has since been updated to reflect that change. 

CORRECTION [2/22/2024, 9:06 p.m.]: The article was corrected to accurately reflect the language of the complaint. 


Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (they/them) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Shuda was the Deputy News Editor, Community Outreach News Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year and an Assistant News Editor during the 2020-21 school year. They can be reached at or